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Industrial Hemp Could Be Viable Flagship Crop

The General

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Australia - Industrial hemp could be agriculture's source of a viable flagship crop of the future, slashing input costs for farmers and creating hundreds of rural jobs. There are many ways industrial hemp could be used and this was addressed last week at a seminar held at Trangie by Macquarie 2100 (M2100). The Thursday, June 19 event was a major success, with an attendance of 50 landholders all eager to find out how industrial hemp would benefit their farms.

Directors of Victorian company, Textile and Composite Industries (TCI), which have been working on development of an industrial hemp industry in Australia since the 1990s, held a seminar for farmers in Trangie this week. TCI's managing director Adrian Clarke and international marketing director Charles Kovess have been involved in the industrial hemp industry for 20 years and addressed the benefits of hemp including how it uses less water than crops and requires little to no chemical use, cutting costs on farms.

Hemp paddocks prevent nearby marijuana growers from being able to produce the drugs as cross-pollination deprives the illicit crop of any effective THC levels. In a statement M2100 executive officer, John Ryan said "it is eminently achievable and it doesn't require massive government funds, we really just need government to get out of the way, remove the artificial roadblocks they've created over the years and let local farmers get on with the job."

"There is the prospect of farmers being able to sell seed which could pay for the crop, then they have two other parts of the industrial hemp which could be marketed to other industries, so if we can establish reliable markets the profits could be enormous." The following day, Mr Ryan and M2100 chair, Col Hamilton, along with Mr Clarke and Mr Kovess met with Federal member for Parkes, Mark Coulton to discuss the benefits of industrial hemp and why it should be legalised and regulated.

"M2100 has set up this information evening and meetings with Mark Coulton and business leaders because the valley needs a kick start and local people need a dose of optimism, for years it's been a steady and relentless diet of droughts, withdrawal of essential services, business closures and skyrocketing farm input costs." "M2100 is charged with improving the economic, social and environmental resilience of the lower Macquarie Valley for the next 100 years and a viable industrial hemp industry seems to be the only real game changer in town which could lift farm-gate profits, slash input costs and create primary and secondary industry jobs."

Mr Ryan said the potential for industrial hemp is enormous. "If we were serious, we should be using hemp to grow all our paper products, all our bricks, all our plastic and fibreglass as well as cancer-beating health foods, clothing, carpets, hospital bandages and edible food containers, any one of these markets could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars." Government and peoples perception needs to change in order to see the benefits of industrial hemp.

"Industrial hemp is not a drug and it's madness that it's been confused with cannabis, but with half the world's oil production going towards plastics there are powerful vested interests who don't want a home-grown competitor taking any of their market share." In manufacturing sites alone, thousands of jobs would be created. "The icing on the cake would be to have every ounce of it processed in the local area before it is transported, creating permanent employment. The first step would be for farmers being able to successfully grow and process industrial hemp," Mr Coulton said.

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News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Narrominenewsonline.com.au
Author: Taylor Jurd
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Industrial Hemp could be viable flagship crop | Narromine News
 
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