India: A Potential Leader in Hemp
The prospects for the cultivation of Hemp in India are quite high, but due to prevalent stigma, there remain multiple challenges to overcome before achieving desired levels of production to supply a world-community. Presently, most of the demand for raw Hemp is being satisfied by imports from China, with it being the largest producer of the crop in the world. Hemp has had a long history in India, with the rural population still using this native plant for a variety of purposes. But India still does not produce Hemp on a large enough scale to satisfy the domestic demand, let alone the international.
Growing Hemp in India
Even though naturally growing and cultivated Hemp has been used by locals for several centuries, statutory restrictions have prevented the agricultural sector from cultivating it efficiently enough to make an impact on the existing supply. The attached stigma to Hemp, which is misplaced due to lack of awareness, also plays an important role in public opinion that presents yet another hurdle in commercializing the crop.
In order to make India the leading Hemp manufacturer in the world reformation is required in the existing social and legal framework. The rural part of India which mainly consists of the agrarian population needs to be educated about modern methods of cultivation to produce Hemp at a large scale. The Government of India, both at the Federal and State levels need to take a proactive approach to ensure policy reforms. Necessary support initiatives should be taken by local governments to promote cultivation.
Role of Governments in Increasing Hemp Production
With the rise in demand for organic products, Hemp cultivation would give the Indian agricultural sector a much-needed boost. Several Indian states like Uttarakhand (legalized farming of industrial hemp in 2018) and others (Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh etc. are working on policies to legalize farming of Hemp for industrial and medicinal purposes) are taking an active role in promoting Hemp cultivation and this kind of proactive approach from the local governments might boost India’s Hemp production capacity. The main factor that might change the existing condition with regards to Hemp cultivation would be the introduction of new policies which would provide the much-required incentives and benefits to motivate the Indian farmers to undertake Hemp cultivation and make India the its largest producer in the world.
Source and References
- Paul James, Hemp In India: Exploring The Growing Hemp Industry In India, Ministry of Hemp (Jan 1, 2020, 6:16 pm) https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/hemp-india/
- Rohitt Sharma, Industrial Hemp facts and its relevance for India, The Statesman ( Jan 1, 2020, 6:17 pm ) https://www.thestatesman.com/business/industrial-hemp-facts-and-its-relevance-for-india-1502740883.html