Canapa New Tech: Sustainable Hemp Cultivation in Sicily

Coast of Sicily

Introducing "Canapa New Tech": A Hemp Innovation in Sicily

The island of Sicily is embarking on an ambitious journey to redefine its agricultural landscape through the development of local supply chains for industrial hemp. The "Canapa New Tech" initiative, a pioneering program under the Sicily Rural Development Program (PSR), seeks to leverage Sicily's agricultural potential while emphasizing environmental protection and innovation.

Funding a Green Future

With joint financial backing from the European Union and the Sicilian Region, the project sets out to bolster the region's agricultural sector through the cultivation of hemp. Although the exact level of investment remains undisclosed, the initiative represents a significant commitment to sustainable development and agricultural diversification in Sicily.

Project Objectives and Innovations

"Canapa New Tech" aims to introduce new hemp varieties, conduct trials across multiple sites, and pioneer new harvesting techniques. The project also focuses on developing innovative technologies for extracting oils from hemp seeds and promoting hemp-based products. Spanning from June 2024 to June 2025, the program will operate across the provinces of Caltanissetta, Catania, Palermo, Ragusa, and Messina.

Sicily's Ideal Hemp Farming Conditions

Hemp advocates highlight Sicily's unique geographical advantages, including coastal plains and river valleys, which make it an ideal location for spring-summer hemp farming. The initiative is set to explore sustainable technology transfers and processes to enhance the agricultural sector's environmental footprint.

From Waste to Wealth

Salvatore Zappalà, CEO of Millasensi and project manager of New Tech Hemp, emphasized the program's focus on sustainability. By transforming agricultural waste into valuable materials for sectors like real estate and bioplastics, the initiative aims to contribute to the aerospace and nautical industries, among others.

Key Activities of the "Canapa New Tech" Program

The comprehensive program includes:

  • Enhancing skills and knowledge within the industrial hemp sector.
  • Boosting research and innovation through collaboration between agricultural companies, universities, and research organizations.
  • Developing consultants and specialists in sustainable soil and crop management practices.
  • Applying precision agriculture techniques and installing a weather station for optimal crop monitoring.
  • Conducting greenhouse and field tests for mechanized harvesting and processing.
  • Exploring innovative technologies for seed oil and protein extraction.
  • Developing new hemp-based products, including seed flours and terpene extracts.

Collaborative Effort for Hemp Advancement

The project brings together a diverse group of participants, including agricultural enterprises, universities, and research institutions. This collaborative effort is underscored by the leadership of Giancarlo Cravotto, a professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Turin, who serves as the scientific manager.

"Canapa New Tech" aligns with Sicily's broader vision for a sustainable and innovative agricultural sector. This EU and Italian-funded initiative not only promises to develop organic and conventional hemp supply chains but also aims to position Sicily at the forefront of the global hemp industry.

The "Canapa New Tech" project marks a significant milestone in Sicily's agricultural evolution, leveraging the region's unique conditions to foster a thriving hemp industry. By focusing on innovation, sustainability, and collaboration, Sicily is set to become a beacon of hemp cultivation and product development in Europe and beyond.

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Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

About the author:

Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of CBD and hemp production. With a career spanning over a decade in the cannabis industry, he has dedicated his life to understanding the intricacies of these plants and their potential benefits to human health and the environment. Over the years, Robin has worked tirelessly to promote the full legalization of hemp in Europe. His fascination with the plant's versatility and potential for sustainable production led him to pursue a career in the field.

More about Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen

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