Rural Innovation Support Service – Industrial Hemp for Biomass and Oil

We are pleased to be facilitating another of the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) projects. “Industrial Hemp for Biomass and Oil” brings together a group of interested stakeholders with the broad aim of researching opportunities to grow/process hemp at a local level.

They had their first meeting at the end of April with a focus on the agronomy and economics of hemp production for growers in Scotland. To be an attractive crop it’s recognised that the full value of the hemp plant will need to be realised. Biomass is identified as one opportunity but many others in food and drink and biomaterials are being explored along with current research.

The agronomy of hemp varieties best suited to Scotland is key and work is progressing to look at timing for a quick trial this season if seed and licences can be secured in time.

One of the key attractions in growing hemp is that of the “carbon story”. It is suggested that it has a higher level of carbon capture than woodland (x5 per hectare) and that this focus going forward will be key to wider engagement with policymakers and the wider supply chain.

We are really looking forward to sharing the group findings over the coming months. All information on this project and RISS can be found here