Prem Prakash Upadhyay/Bageshwar
In order to enhance employment opportunities and double the income of farmers, the cultivation of industrial hemp will be started soon in Bageshwar district. As part of the hemp cultivation pilot project, the company concerned will purchase seeds of industrial hemp from France. These seeds are of a variety which contains 0.3 per cent tetra hydro cannabinol (THC). The first license for cultivating industrial hemp here has been granted to Pradeep Pant, a resident of Bhojgan of Garuad
Tehsil in Bageshwar district. The block agriculture officer of Garud, Navin Joshi said that hemp seeds are being imported from France for cultivation here. The quantity of the psychotropic content- THC is less than 0.3 per cent in this variety. An agreement with a medical company is also in the final stages for using the products of the crop. Interested cultivators from other mountainous districts of Pithoragarh, Champawat and Almora and also contacting the company to pursue this activity.
It is pertinent to mention here that a number of farmers in the mountains have given up agriculture due to human-wildlife conflict and other factors.
While plants of the cannabis family have medicinal value apart from being useful for nutrition, fibre and other products, these plants are not damaged by animals. CBD oil made from hemp will be used in various products including soaps, shampoo and medicines. The cellulose from the hemp can be used to make paper and also hemp plastic which is biodegradable. Apart from this, high quality protein found in hemp seeds can also be used in baby food and nutritional supplements.