Hemp doesn’t require chemicals and is drought tolerant making it a good crop for environmental reasons.
Levin company Hemp Connect will get Government help to establish a hemp seed processing plant, that could be a game changer for the hemp transplanting industry.
The Ministry for Primary Industries will contribute $245,000 to Hemp Connect’s two-year pilot project through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.
Domestically produced hemp products would then be able to compete with imports. Hemp Connect has been working on processing options that would reduce production costs.
Managing director Mathew Johnson said one of the keys to reducing costs be to research how to use the entire seed and all the associated waste.
Hemp will make you hungry, but not high.
“Our goal with this project is to make hemp food production in New Zealand a viable and internationally competitive option,” Johnson said.
The cost of importing hemp food has been significantly cheaper than producing it domestically, and by increasing the scale of production, new products such as husks by-products, sprouts and animal feed would become more economically viable, he said.
“We’ve been working tirelessly to modify our existing equipment and have researched equipment from all over the world to find ways of getting the most out of every hemp seed.
MPI is contributing more than $245,000 to Hemp Connect’s two-year pilot project through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.
MPI investments direcotr Steve Penno said the project was a good fit for the Government’s primary sector plan, which included strengthening the countries environmental credentials of food and fibre products and driving growth and value of New Zealand products.
“Hemp doesn’t need chemicals and is drought tolerant, so it has environmental benefits. One of the most exciting aspects of this project will be enabling Hemp Connect to develop products that have never been produced domestically or internationally,” Penno said.