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'If the hemp business takes off, it could be a massive thing for farmers'

My Week: Andrew Hamilton talks to Declan Walsh

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High finance: Declan Walsh grew two acres of cannabis on his farm outside Kilkee in west Clare this year. Photo:  Natasha Barton

High finance: Declan Walsh grew two acres of cannabis on his farm outside Kilkee in west Clare this year. Photo: Natasha Barton

High finance: Declan Walsh grew two acres of cannabis on his farm outside Kilkee in west Clare this year. Photo: Natasha Barton

A west Clare farmer who grew cannabis on his land for the first time this year believes that the cultivation of the plant could be the saviour of small rural farmers.

Declan Walsh is the fourth generation of his family to farm their holding in Loop Head, but when he took over the land following his father's passing last year, he faced the real prospect that he would be the last.

In an effort to maintain the farm, he reduced his suckler herd and applied to the Health Product Regulation Authority (HPRA) for a licence to grow cannabis for the production of CBD oil.