What India can learn from other countries benefiting from Hemp?
Updated: Jul 13, 2019
Hemp is commonly used to refer to cannabis strains cultivated for industrial (non-drug) use.
Hemp is a hardy and renewable resource (one of the earliest domesticated plants known, with roots dating back to the Neolothic Age in China) was refined for various industrial applications, including paper, textiles, and cordage.
Not only can hemp be used for an astonishing number of products, its net environmental benefit is impressive. Among the more salient features, hemp grows in a variety of climates and soil types, is naturally resistant to most pests, and grows very tightly spaced allowing it to out compete most weeds. A natural substitute for cotton and wood fiber, hemp can also be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood because of its low lignin content. Various countries have understood the profits and growth pertaining this and put in their resources to grow further, both economically and environmentally.
At the same time, there are those who make sure that such a plant stays illegal as it is often confused with its cousin marijuana. What big businessmen and politicians forget to inform people about is the huge difference between the two plants.
Since, USA is currently the biggest influencer in the matter of news and western influences, people have become aware of how it is illegal and should be banned. We are not aware of the fact that there are many countries that grow hemp legally, and highly benefit from them, including us!
Following is a short informative list of countries where it is legal to grow hemp.
INDIA has large stands of naturalized Cannabis and uses it for cordage, textiles, and seed oil.
CHINA is the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND allows research crops. And in Victoria, Australia commercial production is now licensed.
AUSTRIA has a hemp industry including production of hempseed oil, medicinal and Hanf magazine.
CANADA started to license research crops in 1994 on an experimental basis. In addition to crops for fiber, one seed crop was experimentally licensed in 1995. Canada now licenses for commercial agriculture with thousands of acres planted in 1998.
CHILE grows hemp mostly for seed oil production.
DENMARK planted its first modern hemp trials in 1997. Committed to utilizing organic methods.
FINLAND has had a resurgence of hemp (hampu) beginning in 1995 with several small test plots.
FRANCE France is the main source of viable low THC hempseed. The French word for hemp is “chanvre”.
GERMANY Clothes and paper are being made from imported raw materials. Germany lifted the ban on growing hemp November, 1995. The German word for hemp is hanf.
GREAT BRITAIN Animal bedding, paper and textiles have been developed. A government grant was given to develop new markets for natural fibers.
HUNGARY is rebuilding their hemp industry, and is one of the biggest exporters of hemp cordage, rugs and hemp fabric to the US They also export hemp seed and hemp paper. The Hungarian word for hemp is kender.
JAPAN has a religious tradition which requires that the Emperor wear hemp garments, so there is a small plot maintained for the imperial family only. They continue to import for cloth and artistic applications.
NETHERLANDS is conducting a four year study to evaluate and test hemp for paper, and is developing processing equipment. Seed breeders are developing new strains of low THC varieties. The Dutch word for hemp is hennep.
POLAND currently grows hemp for fabric and cordage and manufactures hemp particle board. They have demonstrated the benefits of using hemp to cleanse soils contaminated by heavy metals. The Polish word for hemp is konopij.
ROMANIA is the largest commercial producer of hemp in Europe. Some of it is exported to Hungary for processing. They also export to Western Europe and the United States. The Romanian word for hemp is cinepa.
RUSSIA maintains the largest hemp germplasm collection in the world at the N.I. Vavilov Scientific Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) in Saint Petersburg. The Russian word for hemp is konoplya.
SLOVENIA grows hemp and manufactures currency paper.
SPAIN grows and exports hemp pulp for paper and produces rope and textiles. The spanish word for hemp is canamo.
SWITZERLAND is a producer of hemp. The Swiss words for hemp are hanf, chanvre or canapa depending on whether you are in the French, German or Italian speaking area.
EGYPT, KOREA, PORTUGAL, THAILAND, and the UKRAINE also produce hemp.
Globally, more than 30 countries grow hemp, with China being the largest hemp producing and exporting country, responsible for an estimated one-fifth of total global production. China quietly grew into a cannabis superpower.
For the farmers, the crop is green gold – hemp brings in more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) per hectare, compared to just a few thousand yuan for more common crops like corn.
It also has few natural enemies so there’s little need for expensive pesticides. That’s pure profit!
As we transition to a future that embraces more sustainable agriculture practices industrial hemp can help lead the way.
Himalayan Hemp cooperative community preserves the indigenous Himalayan hemp strain by using an eco-socio-capitalistic model with the help of farmers residing in the Himalayan Belt.