Industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity that is cultivated for use in the production of a wide range of products, including foods and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, and nutritional supplements, as well as fabrics and textiles, yarns and spun fibres, paper, construction and insulation materials, and other manufactured goods.

iHemp is among the most productive and useful plants ever known to man. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and has played a prominent part in many ancient economies. It is grown in many parts of the world, and agro climatic conditions in India are also favourable for cultivation of Industrial Hemp.

The objective of the seminar was to make efforts in considering Industrial Hemp as Agriculture Crop as it would increase GDP of sectors like farming, food processing, and exports.

Globally, Hemp industry is growing very fast and it is expected that in the ensuing days the ihemp would be cultivated on a large scale for industrial purpose.  iHemp is produced in the US and UK in a limited commercial scale. Industrial Hemp is being used today by hundreds of business firms around the world like The Body Shop, BMW, GM/Canada and Mercedes Benz are incorporating Industrial Hemp as a resource. Designers from Armani, Calvin Klein, Patagonia and others are responding to consumer interest and demand for Industrial Hemp based products. Precise data are not available on the size of the U.S. market for ihemp-based products, but current industry estimates report annual sales at more than $580 million annually.

Industrial Hemp, despite being growing very fast in international market, has an almost negligible commercial usage in India. Industrial Hemp is something which can bring a revolution in the industry. iHemp fibre is the strongest fibre in the world and its seeds can be used for both raw and the oils.  It can easily replace any cotton-based products. Time has come to provide a leading opportunity to various industries, governments and international agencies to discuss, first hand, the uses of Industrial Hemp and the ways and means to increase the visibility of the industry in multilateral negotiations.  There is need to disseminate awareness about the Industrial hemp as well as  favourable policy support are required to harness the potential of the same so that interested investors may explore the opportunities in this sector which have been untapped till now.

The conference provided a leading opportunity for various industries, governments and international agencies to discuss, first hand, the uses of Industrial Hemp and the ways and means to increase the visibility of the industry in multilateral negotiations.

The Primary points of discussion were:

  • Industrial hemp for economical and agricultural development in India
  • Range of value added products driving ‘Make in India’
  • Industrial Hemp: Burgeoning Global Market
  • Indian scenario: Opportunities and challenges
  • IIHA working & development
  • Statistical data of industrial hemp around the world
  • Industrial hemp as a supplement of food and fibre
  • Medicinal uses of  cannabinoids like CBD
  • Role of Governmental measures in boosting hemp agriculture and agro-industry

Dr. S.K. Malhotra – Horticulture Commissioner , Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India

Mr. Ashutosh Sahi – Assistant Professor , Textile Design Department , National Institute of Fashion Technology, Government of India

Dr. Bijay Ghosh – Director, Research and Development, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA)

Mr. Chandra Prakash Shah – CEO , Chandra Prakash & Co.

Mr. Darwin Millard, ME, Ex.E – Partner/Co-Founder – Plant Consulting Group, LLC, Chief Operations Officer/Co-Founder – Applied , Botanical Sciences, Inc.

Mr. Daniel Kruse – Founder & Director , HEMPRO INT. GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) , European Industrial Hemp Association , (Board of Directors)

Ms. Heena Ahluwalia – Director Media & PR , Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA)

Dr. K.M. Chacko – Director , Shriram Institute for Industrial Research

Dr. Kavya Dashora – Deputy Director (Science), CABI South Asia – India Office

Dr. Najam Akhtar Shakil, PhD – Principal Scientist , Division of Agricultural Chemicals Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Mr. Robert Hertel – Founder &CEO , HempAge AG

Mr. Rohit Sharma – President

Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) and

Managing Director, AMRO Organic Hemp Pvt. Ltd.

Ms. Tamar Wise, B.Chem, MCDB – Partner/Co-founder – Plant Consultant Group, LLC , Chief Science Officer/Co-founder – Applied , Botanical Sciences, Inc.

Dr. Vandana Narang – Director , National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

Welcome Address by Ms. Hena Ahluwalia, Director Media & PR, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA).

Ms. Hena Ahluwalia, Director Media & PR, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) in her welcome address highlighted the main aim of the conference, which was to provide a leading opportunity for various industries, governments and international agencies to make use of industrial hemp. She recommended that experts must be brought together in the field of industrial hemp so that potential of technology with given natural resources could be identified.

 

Special Address by Dr. K M Chacko, Director (R&D), Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA).

Dr. K M Chacko, Director (R&D), Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) while highlighting the international scenario stated that China has been cultivating maximum industrial Hemp and US is importing from China. In European countries industrial Hemp has also been used widely, showcasing the potential of various industrial aspects where iHemp could be used worldwide. It also helps in reducing the carbon footprints. He also accentuated that for a product, characterization and standardization has been the foremost aspect. Hence Dr. Chacko shared that Shriram Institute along with association of IIHA, has initiated the processes for product characterization and standardization. He suggested conducting scientific research in this field and also issues related to fiber content, insulation and carbon prints have to be sorted in the country. He recommended deploying more focus on the constructive ways in finding benefits of this product and considerate steps should be taken to minimize the misuse.

 

Address by Dr. Bijay Sankar Ghosh Director, Shriram Institute Hemp Association (IIHA).

Dr. Bijay Sankar Ghosh Director, Shriram Institute Hemp Association (IIHA) while briefing the scientific techniques of iHemp and basic materials obtained from it discussed various advantages of the crop. He underlined the unique characteristic of iHemp seed oil and highlighted that with 1.2 billion population in India, even if 1% of population consumes 5 drops of iHemp seed oil a day, then supply of 12,00,000 liters of ihemp seed oil per day would be required, thereby providing huge market for iHemp seed oil in India.

 

Address by Mr. Daniel Kruse, Founder & Director, HEMPRO INT. Gnbh & Co. KG (Germany), European Industrial Hemp Association (Board of Directors).

Mr. Daniel Kruse, Founder & Director, HEMPRO INT. Gnbh & Co. KG (Germany), European Industrial Hemp Association (Board of Directors) while underlying the status of iHemp market in European Union accented that the turnover of ihemp foodstuff and corresponding raw material had increased strongly worldwide. iHemp-seeds, hulled iHemp-nuts, iHemp-oil and hemp protein powder have become more presentable, both in retail as well as in food industry.

 

Address by Chief Guest Dr. S K Malhotra, Horticulture & Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India.

Dr. S K Malhotra, Horticulture & Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India stated that iHemp crop was not new to India, 2000 BC back it was cultivated and even today it is cultivated. He highlighted that, the country has very good biodiversity suitable for the crop. iHemp has huge potential with its multiuse advantages, used in manufacturing of different products. He suggested that the need has been to identify the areas where best use of the crop could be made.  Mr. Malhotra shared that no commercial license has been allocated to the farmers and no commercial farming has been done yet. He suggested that the crop has variety of other options but need for the crop promotion activities exists. And taking into consideration the cost benefit ratio, he recommended that the crop must give more benefits and ready market should also be available. He recommended to conduction discussions at both government and commercial front.

 

Vote of thanks by Mr. Rohit Sharma, President, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) & Managing Director, AMRO Organic Hemp Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Rohit Sharma, President, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) & Managing Director, AMRO Organic Hemp Pvt. Ltd. while giving vote of thanks accented that iHemp could be a substitute crop for the masses living in terrain and who have not been to grow jute or cotton crops. He recommended that in order to bring a stable situation, farmers must be given substitute for these crops. He suggested that Central Government must rethink to provide licenses to this crop. He concluded that India has potential with this crop to come under world ranking.

 

  • Session 1

 

INDUSTRIAL HEMP: BURGEONING GLOBAL MARKET

 

Session Chairman, Dr. K M Chacko Director, Shriram Institute of Industrial Research.

Dr. K M Chacko Director, Shriram Institute of Industrial Research emphasized on propagating and publishing ihemp products in India. He accented that the crop is being used globally but due to various apprehension in India, it has not been brought into use yet. He recommended that all science based studies would help remove these kinds of apprehensions. He also suggested that the farmers, regulatory authorities and scientist have to work together for the product to be promoted widely.

 

Address by Mr. Daniel Kruse, Founder & Director, HEMPRO INT. Gnbh & Co. KG (Germany), European Industrial Hemp Association (Board of Directors).

Mr. Daniel Kruse, Founder & Director, HEMPRO INT. Gnbh & Co. KG (Germany), European Industrial Hemp Association (Board of Directors), shared that iHemp food is a growing sector with a double digit market expansion expected globally, due to more dietary conscious consumers who increasingly demand more high value nutritious foods, also known as ‘super foods’. He also discussed market studies on iHemp food and on Cannabidiol. He suggested that future research needs Methodology and evaluation of uncertainty factor, realistic consumption patterns of iHemp food, interaction of THC with other cannabinoids.

 

Address by Mr. Robert Hertel, Founder & CEO, HempAge AG.

Mr. Robert Hertel, Founder & CEO, HempAge AG, underlined that in addition to cotton other plant fibers like flax, ihemp, nettle and ramie have been known for their comfortable properties. He added that additional advantages of these fiber plants were, that they could be grown without problems outside the cotton growing zone and have properties of being resistant to plant disease. Mr. Hertel highlighted that the yield of iHemp is double to that of conventional plants and facilitates 4-times yield than the yield of organic cotton. He accented that latest research studies show that it has been technically feasible to spin ihemp fibers on short staple spinning machines and it would be possible to cover around 50% of the higher demand for cotton with ihemp.

 

Address by Mr. Darwin Millard, Parnter/Co-Founder, Plant Consulting Group, LLC & Chief Operations Officer/Co-Founder Applied Botanical Sciences, Inc.

Mr. Darwin Millard, Parnter/Co-Founder, Plant Consulting Group, LLC & Chief Operations Officer/Co-Founder Applied Botanical Sciences, Inc. while highlighting upcoming market in US for iHemp stated that US market is the largest consumer for iHemp seed and Hemp seed oil but is also facing major shortage for organic iHemp seed. He also shared that Canada is the largest supplier to the iHemp seed to US. Mr. Millard suggested that India has an opportunity to supply US with its growing Hemp seed demand.

 

Address by Mr. Rohit Sharma, President, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) & Managing Director, AMRO Organic Hemp Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Rohit Sharma, President, Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) & Managing Director, AMRO Organic Hemp Pvt. Ltd. shared that iHemp comes under various government bodies, viz. ministry of home affairs, ministry of finance and revenue etc. The whole department was well structured and the primary focus of the departments has been to stop the illicit iHemp plantation and coca plantation etc. He recommended that if the demand will not meet and if iHemp comes later in the market than the right price or a profit which a farmer or a business person could gain would become difficult. The basic PH level required for the soil preferably is 7-7.5 and climate require lot of moisture it can sustain in any temperature. He shared that 10,00,000 acre of iHemp and more than 50 million worth US dollars were destroyed over India, which is just 10% of the wild iHemp grown in India. He suggested learning and adapting the substitute crops such as iHemp, to give a better living to the farmers.

 

  • Session 2

INDIAN SCENARIO: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES And RANGE OF VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS DRIVING MAKE IN INDIA

 

 

Session Chairperson Prof. Dr. Vandana Narang, Campus Director, NIFT.

Prof. Dr. Vandana Narang, Campus Director, NIFT, the session chairperson suggested to make India awake towards products like iHemp. She also recommended educating people regarding iHemp and its uses. Dr. Narang stated that textile is the second largest employment generation after agriculture and if iHemp could be used for Textile than it could bring boost to the industry.

 

Address by Mr. Ram Alagesan, General Manger Works and Projects, NEPA Ltd.

Mr. Ram Alagesan, General Manger Works and Projects, NEPA Ltd. shared that as a paper mill company they have been looking for fiber replacement as raw material to make paper, and added that iHemp was one of the products with rich fiber content.  He shared that the problem in production of iHemp was in producing low THC cannabis, and added that if this problem could be addressed than the industry would make a breakthrough. He suggested to make iHemp available to the end users, so that once they start using, they would get the benefits and tremendous change would happen.  Mr. Alagesan shared that along with the challenge it has huge potential. He shared that advantage of iHemp includes its ability to grow faster and it consists of good fiber length.

 

Address by Mr. Sauman Das Gupta, Indian School for Innovation & Sustainability.

Mr. Sauman Das Gupta, Indian School for Innovation & Sustainability, in his miniscule speech shared the history related to iHemp. He suggested that it should be taken on a mission mode, also consortiums must be formed to spread awareness and benefits of iHemp in making variety of products.

 

Address by Ms. Tamar Wise, B.Chem, MCDB, Parnter/Co-Founder, Plant Consulting Group, LLC & Chief Science Officer/Co-Founder Applied Botanical Sciences.

Ms. Tamar Wise, B.Chem, MCDB, Parnter/Co-Founder, Plant Consulting Group, LLC & Chief Science Officer/Co-Founder Applied Botanical Sciences, Inc. discussed various value added nutritional and medical products available from iHemp. She accented that iHemp has many good qualities that could enhance the value of a product naturally. She explained that Hemp protein has been one of the most digestible plant proteins available, which could be produced traditionally with hemp and other plant sources. Indicating the medical supplies related benefits, she accented that iHemp plastic is natural anti-microbial made of natural cellulose in the plant. When ihemp cellulose is added to any surgical/medical supplies makes the product less likely to be rejected and safer to be used.

 

Address by Dr. Kavya Dashora, Deputy Director (Science), CABI South Asia-Indian Office.

Dr. Kavya Dashora, Deputy Director (Science), CABI South Asia-Indian Office, while mentioning different uses of iHemp stated that it is the strongest natural fiber in the world, known to have 50,000 different uses. She highlighted that iHemp stalk were used in making textile, industrial textile, building materials and paper whereas the seeds were used for industrial products such as oil paints, fuel, solvents etc. food items and body care products. She also highlighted various benefits of ihemp and stressed on the key issues related to the product at policy level, grower’s level, implementation level and R&D level.  She recommended facilitation of policies and research, supplementing best cultivation practices, to provide technical support for quality raw material production, structuring collection centres at farm gate and strengthening the value chain as whole.

 

Address by Mr. Chandra Prakash, Managing Director, Chandra Prakash & Company.

Mr. Chandra Prakash, Managing Director, Chandra Prakash & Company, discussed market demand of iHemp products and its application in various value added products in India. Meticulously he briefed uses of iHemp in Paper industry, handicrafts, fabrics, Yarns and cordages.

 

Address by Mr. Ashutosh Sahi, Assistant Professor, Textile Design Department, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Government of India.

Mr. Ashutosh Sahi, Assistant Professor, Textile Design Department, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Government of India, shared various iHemp materials and their applications, viz. wood fibres,  seeds, leaves, flower and resins and hurds used in making textiles & its composites, specialty paper, food & oil, medicinal  purpose and Hemp- concrete thereby protracting opportunities in the Indian market. He highlighted that multipurpose cropping, organically grown, lesser wastages and support for rotational cropping system as some of the advantages of the crop. He suggested constructing adequate knowledge of fibre extraction and deploying latest processing technologies to be made available in India.

 

Address by Dr. N A Shakil, Principal Scientist, Division of Agricultural Chemicals, Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

Dr. N A Shakil, Principal Scientist, Division of Agricultural Chemicals, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, underlined the benefits that a farmer could get while reaping the crop, viz. use of herbicide would be minimized as the crop is natural weed suppressants. He also indicated that if the crop is used under crop protection system than the soil would be improved as the roots are very deep hence it also acts like a natural aerator. He accented that India is best suited for growing this crop. He suggested ensuring security to the famers that the product would be sold.

Date: 30th November 2015

Venue: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

Lakshmipat Singhania Auditorium,  4/2, Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg,  New Delhi, 110016.

  • Experts must be brought together in the field of industrial hemp so that potential of technology with given natural resources could be identified.
  • Scientific research should be conducted in this field.
  • More focus must be deployed on the constructive ways in finding benefits of this product thereby taking considerate steps to minimize the misuse.
  • Farmers, regulatory authorities and scientist must work together for the product to be promoted widely.
  • Focus should be on learning and adapting the substitute crops such as iHemp, to give a better living to the farmers.
  • The crop should be taken on a mission mode also consortiums must be formed to spread awareness and benefits of iHemp in making variety of products.
  • Adequate knowledge of fibre extraction must be ensured along with deploying latest processing technologies to be made available in India.

Industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity that is cultivated for use in the production of a wide range of products, including foods and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, and nutritional supplements, as well as fabrics and textiles, yarns and spun fibres, paper, construction and insulation materials, and other manufactured goods.

iHemp is among the most productive and useful plants ever known to man. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and has played a prominent part in many ancient economies. It is grown in many parts of the world and agro climatic conditions in India are also favourable for cultivation of Industrial Hemp.

Globally, Hemp industry is growing very fast and it is expected that in the ensuing days the ihemp would be cultivated on a large scale for industrial purpose.  iHemp is produced in the US and UK in a limited commercial scale. Industrial Hemp is being used today by hundreds of business firms around the world like The Body Shop, BMW, GM/Canada and Mercedes Benz are incorporating Industrial Hemp as a resource. Designers from Armani, Calvin Klein, Patagonia and others are responding to consumer interest and demand for Industrial Hemp based products. Precise data are not available on the size of the U.S. market for ihemp-based products, but current industry estimates report annual sales at more than $580 million annually.

Industrial Hemp, despite being growing very fast in international market but in India its commercial usage is almost negligible. Industrial Hemp is something which can bring a revolution in the industry. iHemp fibre is the strongest fibre in the world and its seeds can be used for both raw and the oils.  It can easily replace any cotton base products. Time has come to provide a leading opportunity to various industries, governments and international agencies to discuss, first hand, the uses of Industrial Hemp and the ways and means to increase the visibility of the industry in multilateral negotiations.  There is need to disseminate awareness about the Industrial hemp as well as  favourable policy support are required to harness the potential of the same so that interested investors may explore the opportunities in this sector which have been untapped till now.

 

Industrial Hemp can be used to make a variety of products from bread to varnish to car fuel and can also be used to manufacture hemp biodiesel.  Industry players of Industrial hemp have manufactured the iHemp Car which is an alternative-fuel project car.  iHemp can reduce synthetic, petroleum based and other high embodied energy materials to produce high performance products.  Industrial Hemp biomass can produce electricity from sulphur-free charcoal, as well as ethanol.  Industrial Hemp oil can be made into non-toxic paints, varnishes, lubricants and sealants.

 

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 allows cultivation of cannabis for horticultural and industrial purposes. Cannabis plant can be a source of biomass and fibre for industrial purposes. Cannabis seeds can be used to produce cannabis seed oil – a high value oil.  Section 14 of the NDPS Act empowers the Government to, by general or special order, permit cultivation of cannabis exclusively for horticultural and industrial purposes. The Central Government shall, however, follow a cautious, evidence-based approach towards cultivation of cannabis for horticultural and/or industrial purposes and shall take decisions based on results of research.

Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of India, ‘cannabis’ has been defined synonymously with ‘ihemp’ and both terms are used as examples of ‘narcotic drugs.’ The Act also prohibits the cultivation of the cannabis plant unless certain conditions.

In view of the burgeoning international demand and the different uses of industrial hemp in almost all the industry, now the time has come to consider Industrial Hemp as Agriculture Crop as it would increase GDP of sectors like farming, food processing, exports.  It would be a new source of income for farmers and would boost Micro, SME sector.