The success of Indian hemp growing trials in Katherine has excited some people with the potential of hemp as a food for human consumption.
Phil Warner, the founder of Ecofibre Industries, Australia’s leading hemp company, will speak in Darwin at the 2018 Northern Australia Food Futures Conference in a workshop on new and niche crops, on the possibilities for hemp production.
“Hemp seed is highly nutritious and is already consumed as a food source in many countries. In the NT, the immediate future for hemp is for grain for human consumption, and using the crop residues for cattle feed,” said Mr Warner.
For 20 years, Phil has been developing hemp varieties viable for latitudes 40˚ to the tropics. Phil’s team has amassed the world’s most diverse cannabis genetic seed bank, models for co-operative farming systems, new processing systems, markets for hemp food, fibre products and cannabinoid now used in the USA, and South America.
“Australia has only recently allowed sale of hemp seed for food, but it is already a large commercial grain industry in many countries. Hemp for grain is grown on an industrial scale in many countries like other grain crops and Canada has led the way in this space over recent years.
“Australian legislation is 20 years behind many countries of the world, just for hemp for grain, not cannabis as a drug. These hemp varieties for grain are low THC and low in cannabinoids, so they can’t be used in the drug trade. Plus, there is a good market for hemp grain in Australia at current prices of $2000-3000/tonne.
“Australian producers need to develop its own locally adapted agronomy and varieties as currently Australia has been using varieties from Canada and France, not adapted to local conditions,” said Mr Warner
Hemp production for grain for human consumption will be one of the key feature sessions at the Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2018.
Find out more www.foodfuturesntfarmers.org.au
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