Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, all cultivation operations were suspended. However, our hard-fought and successful cultivation history in Malawi lives on.
Ikaros Africa operated a 6 Ha research and training farm at DARS’ Chitala Research Station – strategically located in close proximity to Lilongwe, Kamuzu International Airport, with suppliers based in Salima & Lake Malawi. An outdoor cultivation model was adopted with the intention of producing clean medical-grade cannabis, and the option to establish greenhouses or tunnels in future.
Facilities were fully secured with diamond wire fencing and 5 security guards. The farm had 5 boreholes with main irrigation lines laid and eight 20,000 litre water tanks. A full spider drip-irrigation system with variable speed pump was procured and ready for installation across the 6 hectares. Our impressive facilities also offered a supplemental lighting grid for 1,000 field plants, 400m2 shade cloth nursery infrastructure, 4 drying sheds, a store room, an office and guard house, as well as 3 backup generators.
We managed to complete 3 sets of medicinal cannabis trials (8 different strains grown from seed with our largest crop being 22,000 plants in a single planting), which resulted in the registration of 6 hemp strains in Ikaros Africa’s name, for legal distribution within Malawi. We completed a 4th trial under supplemental lighting in February 2020, which was highly successful with very substantial plant sizes and yields in excess of 1,200g per plant (on average).
Having found Malawi to be an optimum cannabis growing environment, we are now able to turn our attention to offering our invaluable experience to others. Please contact us for more information about the services we are able to offer, as outlined above. For detailed information and to order our legal high-CBD seeds, please visit Hemp Seeds.
Ikaros Africa was the first company to legally process high-CBD medical cannabis in Malawi, using our own supercritical CO2 extraction equipment. We established a highly secure 2120m2 processing and extraction facility and laboratory in Lilongwe and made use of the following core extraction equipment:
- Industrial dryer
- Industrial grinder
- Supercritical CO2 extraction line (CE certified and Italian designed) sourced from Covelar Engineering
- Wipe film molecular separator
- Commercial and R&D rotary evaporators
- Vacuum oven for crystallisation and isolate production
- Industrial freezer for winterisation, heated magnetic stirrers, lab scales
Our processing facility had two lab technicians trained in person by overseas equipment manufacturers. In early September, 2019, we had Italian and Chinese equipment manufacturers on site to commission our supercritical CO2 extraction equipment under the supervision of DARS, Malawi Police Service, and Malawi Pharmacy, Medicines and Poisons Board.
We are very proud to say that we were the first company to legally produce a CBD oil extraction of any kind in Malawi. Specifically, we processed a winterised rotovapped crude CO2 extract. CO2 extraction is still regarded as the international gold standard, due to utilisation of clean and harmless solvent and the ability to carry out sub-critical and supercritical runs, in order to selectively extract cannabinoids, waxes, terpenes and flavonoids.
Our vacated facility was placed under an initial care and maintenance program and ultimately suspended, due to regulatory delays and the impact of COVID-19.