Multicanapa is a project funded by the Rural Development Initiative (PSR 2014-2020) whose main goal is to foster hemp cultivation in Sicily, to advance diversification in terms of economic, energy, and environmental sustainability.
‘Canapa di Sicilia’ – this the name of the group – is composed of many entities, namely: the University of Catania; the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Environment; the National Research Council (CNR); the BioEconomy Institute (IBE); a network of 6 local growers, and finally, Canapar – the latter will act as the head of the project.
The general goal of the project is to identify hemp cultivars that are suitable for Mediterranean climatic conditions.
“Canapar is humbled and honored for the opportunity to lead such an important project,” Sergio Martines, CEO of Canapar, says. “Multicanapa is the proof that multiple entities must cooperate to develop innovative technologies and to achieve concrete results.”
The main objectives of the project are: to find the best practices to optimize the quality of production; to improve the fertility of the soil through sustainable agriculture practices thus promoting crop rotation; to further understand the environmental and economic sustainability of the supply chain; to realize a detailed plan to ensure the broadest access to local and foreign companies.
“Many Sicilian companies showed interest in hemp cultivation, especially when it comes to the production of seeds, oils, and so on,” says Prof. Luciano Cosentino. “Thanks to the knowledge we at the University of Catania have gained over years, we are going to educate those interested companies about the most suitable environments and harvesting techniques that would allow us to further promote this crop.”
“The hemp crop is ingrained in Sicilian tradition,” says Cristina Patané, First Researcher at CNR-IBE. “By diversifying the different hemp end products, we could include this crop into the food supply chain. This will represent a stepping stone to further propel small-medium sized local businesses. The CNR-IBE will support growers with regards to the nutritional characteristics of hemp products, especially concerning innovative cultivation techniques.”
“Multicanapa’s project aims at supporting the strategy of positioning Sicily as the vanguard production center of Europe,” says Paolo Guarnaccia, Professor at the University of Catania. “We are going to specifically promote and support the development of integrated local supply chains that would add value to the results of the research.”