An Amateur's Guide to Growing Hemp in India
Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. So, let’s find out what it takes to grow Hemp in India. With so many possible uses and utilisations, Hemp cultivation has become a subject of interest for farmers and individuals alike. The wonder crop’s popularity is on the rise across the globe and even in India. But in order to cultivate this crop in India farming aspirants must bear certain things in mind before they start their operation. Let us discuss some of the important things that one might need to consider while planning to grow Hemp in India.
Legal Framework for Hemp Cultivation in India
India has a rich culture associated with Hemp, historically it was used for a range of things and was cultivated by farmers across the subcontinent.
But in the present millennia growing this crop isn’t exactly legal in India, to be more precise, its cultivation is very strictly regulated. Only two states in India have ratified its cultivation, and even though certain individuals in Himachal Pradesh cultivate it quite clandestinely, it isn’t legal. So bearing in mind these points, in order to cultivate Hemp, the cultivator must be within the borders of the above-mentioned states, and possess a minimum 12000sq/ft for cultivation operations in order to avoid any legal repercussions. One must get a license (from the respective State Governments as the benefits and limitations vary) to grow Hemp even in the States where it is legal, and authorities will regularly check the plants to see whether they are maintaining guidelines.
Hemp Cultivation 101
Once one gets past the strict regulation, one must also know how to actually grow Hemp. Even though it is much easier to grow than other crops and requires far fewer resources as compared to others, it still can prove to be a hard task if one does not know about the crop itself. Hemp is not a seasonal plant so it can thrive all year round, but it can’t grow well in extreme climates, the crop needs well-drained soil and warm weather to grow. Another good thing about this crop is that instead of transplanting from pots one can directly plant the seed into the soil. But even if conditions are favorable, cultivators must always consider Hemp’s legal status in India, since failing to comply with regulations might attract penal actions from the authorities.
In spite of so many challenges and hurdles, Hemp’s future still looks bright in India. A third state might also be contemplating the legalization of Hemp, possibly giving rise to more opportunities for Hemp cultivators in India. Maybe in future India might reconnect with its past and give Hemp the reverence that it deserves, but till then cultivators must keep the above-mentioned points in mind while growing hemp in India.
Source and References
- Vivek Singh, Hemp and India, Hemp Foundation https://hempfoundation.net/hemp-and-india-legalities-prospects-challenges-and-future-outlook/#:~:text=The%20Uttarakhand%20state%20government%20has,Pradesh%20as%20the%20third%20state.
- Brian Barth, SO you want to be a Hemp Farmer?, Modern Farmer (Jul 9, 2018) https://modernfarmer.com/2018/07/so-you-want-to-be-a-hemp-farmer/