UK HEMP-30 initiative gains government support

A project seeking to increase industrial hemp production and processing in the UK has received government financial backing.

Led by researchers at the University of York and Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), the HEMP-30 initiative will plot a pathway to boosting the amount of industrial hemp cultivated in the UK from a current 800 hectares* to 80,000 hectares.

This 100-fold increase would make industrial hemp a major crop in the UK. The initial stage of the project has been awarded £200,000 from the UK government’s Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies and processes.

But hemp offers so much more than just being a feedstock for biofuel production. “Hemp has major untapped potential as a versatile low carbon raw material that can be used across a range of industries,” said BDC Director Dr Joe Ross. “It offers environmental benefits as a fast-growing ‘break’ crop that improves soil health and is very efficient at capturing carbon.”


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