Mastering a new-old crop, farmers are forced to learn to cultivate and process hemp directly in the fields, because universities do not produce professionals in the industry. On agronomists revenues come breeders, explaining the basic things - as a "plant-grow-collect."
Technical hemp - traditional Ukrainian culture, which our ancestors had cultivated for many centuries. They have used it as food, sewed clothes, medicines and produced decorative items.
But over time, Ukrainian producers pushed from the market under the pretext of the fight against drugs. At the same time, the world demand for the production of industrial hemp is growing. Over the past 10 years, the world market of non-narcotic hemp rose from zero to several hundred billion dollars. Today hemp produced 50 thousand. Products.
Actually, the demand in Europe and America and pushed Ukrainian farmers to master and develop this market segment. But, as it turned out, in practice, it is not so simple.
Without government support, market participants say that they have to deal with absurd regulations and requirements, to solve the problem of lack of processing plants, by the search for markets and foster a culture of consumption.
Stifle in the bud?
In Ukraine konoplevodstva industry began to revive in 2012. Pioneers had to act within the legal framework, rules which are designed to psychotropic cannabis or marijuana. For example, farmers had to pay for the protection of crops. To date, this requirement is abolished, but there are many other regulations hindering the development of the industry. For example, the obligatory presence of a license for the sowing and cultivation.
Until now, to warehouses for storage of hemp the same requirements as for storage of narcotic substances. Do not rush to support the promising industry officials and the use of plants.
"In the world of 100% recycled hemp plant. And leaves and blossoms - the most expensive raw material with 50-70% profitability, very demanded in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food products. But because of the lack of legislation, the Ukrainian producer of cannabis can only work with seeds and trusts. That is, 15% of the plants we throw away, which is in some cases up to 70% of its cost-effectiveness ", - says Alexander Ignatyuk, president of the Association" Ukrainian industrial hemp. "
Mastering a new-old crop, farmers are forced to learn to cultivate and process hemp directly in the fields, because universities do not produce professionals in the industry. On agronomists revenues come breeders, explaining the basic things - as a "plant-grow-collect."
This tandem has already proved its effectiveness. Domestic breeders are known worldwide for their experience. And they bred cannabis seeds - main product for export in the industry. With Russian scientists collaborate cannabis growers around the world - Canada, Europe, Russia. Those Chinese who control about 70% of the world market konoplevodstva, come to Ukraine to plant breeders for knowledge, invite them to their laboratories to share their experience.
In 2016 it contracted farms "Kravets OP" for the supply of industrial hemp seed material in Kazakhstan and agronomic support. Kazakhs are going to build a plant for the processing of hemp pulp (paper production), and invited Ukrainian specialists for the development of technologies. "In the course of the study raw material, we are faced with something special and for me personally surprising at the time. Colleagues from agriculture have prompted us to explore the technical hemp. I did not immediately took seriously the idea. However, studies have shown that hemp can get a unique cellulose for the entire spectrum of securities, from banknote - to packaging and office paper, "- said General Director of« Kagaz Shahary SEZ »Maxim Skrynnik.
By the way, this experience is not new. It is used in Italy, Switzerland, France, thus, these countries keep their forests.
At the same time, funding for "Experimental Station fiber crops" - the only center dedicated to breeding cannabis for the last two years was cut to 25%, and equipment, which employs experts - 30-40 years.
"In fact, the industry itself is held on the enthusiasm of market participants, - said Irina Layko, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, the head of the technical department of cannabis breeding. - But I believe in its revival, as I see, like agronomists burn eyes. "
Development prospects
Despite all the obstacles, businessmen consider investing in this segment of the market is very profitable. So, to date, about 100 companies are considering this area to expand its agribusiness. According to forecasts, in the next 2-3 years the number of industrial hemp crop area will increase to 10-20 thousand. Ha (about 2 thousand. Hectares were sown in 2015, hemp).
Although industrial hemp is widely used in many industries, the most promising in Ukraine remains the implementation of the seed and food from hemp.
That is the power of industrial hemp products are in great demand. Even despite the fact that their value in November rose nearly tripled, and by May it is planned to grow by another 20-30%. "Our customer - with very different incomes. These are people who want to eat healthy foods and do not skimp on this ", - says Alexander Ignatyuk owner hemp supermarket.
Another promising direction expert calls Zoo business - production of feed mixtures, feed additives for birds, rodents, various derivative for fishermen. "The fishing season goes all the products, we do not even have time to meet all requests," - he says.
But in the textile and knitting direction of the hype is not observed. While for the domestic buyer this relatively expensive products, manufacturers are oriented to the buyer with average and above average income. Although the work is carried out to reduce the cost of production and there is a positive part.
According to Victor Polonchuka, shareholder Agro-Hanf (Ukraine), pricing affects the factor that the processing of hemp - a rather complicated and costly process. "We ourselves grow hemp. Please do primary processing at its plant, receiving 30% of the fiber, and about 70% of the fires. The fiber is used as a filler for blankets and pillows, production of yarn fabric. Bonfire podpressovyvaetsya into briquettes and sold as fuel or construction material. For a long time busy with the sale of the fiber, but the Ukrainian market is not interested, and with foreign colleagues we could not lay down their economy. So go on - began to produce yarn for textile products ", - he said.
The first attempts to sell their products - pillows, blankets hemp fiber, through a chain of stores, failed. As a result, manufacturers have stopped at the shop "all hemp" format. One of them is the shop "Ukrainian hemp." Already there are constant buyers, wholesalers in Kiev, Kharkov, the White Church. Planned opening of the store in Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv.
Very gradually implemented cosmetics, building materials (insulated and soundproof). Since cellulose is an open question - Ukraine has no business that would be doing. Such areas as energy and pharmacology - are just beginning to develop, but have a greater perspective.
Foreign ... only visible light at the end of the tunnel
In most cases, Ukraine exports raw materials - seed for sowing or for use in food production.
The implementation of the finished product - it's more isolated cases. The main difficulty - the lack of modern processing plants and technology. "Our factories for the processing of hemp is extremely outdated. And the product that we offer does not match the parameters of most of the European market ", - says Alexander Ignatyuk.
Such equipment is not possible to produce yarn and fabric made from 100% hemp that quality for which the consumer is willing to pay foreign natural clothing. Products of mixed composition, which offers the Ukrainian producer is not in great demand. And the cost of it is completely different.
"To exit abroad have enough meager selection, - develops the theme Viktor Polonchuk. - Although our company has increased it to 5 to 60 items, but to represent the full, you need to 150-200 ", which will be done this year.
At the same time, the company already sells socks in Canada, the Baltic states, the United States, preparing for the foreign market a line of slippers, sandals - 100% hemp. "Also for the foreign partner is very important, how much we can deliver products. We are ready to fully ensure the feedstock producer, who works with our yarn and go up to 100 thousand units, "- said Polonchuk.
Substandard products sin producers of hemp oil. According Ignatyuk, only one Ukrainian company adheres to strict requirements in its production.
"In particular, in the production of hemp seed oil as a food product, the temperature during pressing does not exceed 40 degrees because if it is oil from the desired biologically active human biological product turns into garbage and even poison to - he says. - We have in the market is only one company complies with the requirements and presses with press capacity of 10-12 l / h. Others give 400 - 1000 liters per hour, while the temperature may increase in the production of up to 130 degrees. This oil in Europe can be used as drying oil, biodiesel. In Ukraine, it is sold and marketed as the product lines. "
Your socks can smoke?
Of course, this is a joke, but it has a great deal of truth. Indeed, according to market participants, 90-95% of consumers are not aware of the existence of cannabis containing no drugs. Therefore, the response to the product of this culture - relevant.
The problem of lack of information, many countries have faced and solved it at the state level. For example, in the Czech Republic for 10 years conducted special activities for the formation of consumer attitudes to cannabis. In Canada, there is a state program, which explains that the technical hemp - is not a drug, and is extremely cost-effective culture.
In Ukraine, the "education" consumers are engaged only market participants themselves - to the extent possible.
At the same time, market participants predict konoplevodstvu rapid development. "Those entrepreneurs who want to invest money and immediately get a return - gone from the industry. There were people who are well aware that hemp - the culture of long-term money, - says Irina Layko. - It can provide an income in the first year. But if you still do its processing, the production of products, the margin increases significantly. Yes, hemp requires capital investments, but in the future - and the impact will be greater. "
Every year, since 2012, cannabis cultivation dynamics on crops doubled. Alexander Ignatyuk confident that the situation will change gradually and with the processing of hemp, increase product quality. "For example, if in 2012, he worked as a factory for primary processing of hemp for fiber, then in 2016 it should start the fifth" - he says.
And then you need to reduce the imbalance which exists today in the market of Ukraine between the economic efficiency of cultivation of industrial hemp - on the one hand, and with the areas of crops, the number of plants for their processing - on the other hand. To do this little effort of entrepreneurs. We need to improve the regulatory framework, without stretching it for years. The state should attract investment - in the selection and manufacturing, to encourage manufacturers, providing them with grants from the state and local budgets, promote products. Such measures allow to supply a sufficient amount of seed market, restore or upgrade the work of processing enterprises and to achieve high-quality products, to launch the new line for the production of its species. Development of the segments of industrial hemp market will stimulate the development of other industries.