Hoping to tap into the ongoing need for homes in Southern Africa, Capetown-based solutions provider The Best Grow has signed an agreement with Industrial Hemp Latvia (IHL), Riga, to distribute the HurdMaster 1000 Micro Decorticator.
The HurdMaster, highly mobile, durable technology which turns hemp stalks into hurd and bast fibers, is a keen fit in the region’s markets, made up primarily of remote, isolated communities where it is impossible to bring in big processing lines, said Alan Diaz, principal director at The Best Grow, a technology re-seller that services cannabis companies in South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia.
“There is a growing need in the construction industry here to build with more ecological material, like hempcrete,” Diaz said. “With this machine, each smaller community can have a tool to be able to process the stalks further, and make extra products that they can benefit from.”
The Best Grow also sees a market among large-scale producers across the region who focus on flower production, but have yet to capitalize on leftover cannabis stems, Diaz said.
The HurdMaster separates the outside bast fibers from the plant stem’s hard inner core, which is chopped into short lengths for use in hempcrete and as animal bedding and animal litter, or as plant bedding. Bast fibers are also used for insulation in the construction industry, and for eco-friendly textile production, demand for which is also growing in the region, according to Diaz.
The Latvian technology is also perfect as a teaching tool to get local entrepreneurs up to speed with hemp stalk processing, said Diaz, whose company educates and trains the small-scale producers it serves.
Developed for European fiber varieties, and flower and seed growers who want to further monetize their operations by utilizing the stems left over from their harvests, the HurdMaster 1000 was designed to process up to 100 kg of hemp stalks per hour for farms of 2-5 hectares (about 6-10 acres), and for hempcrete building companies, do-it-yourselfers and researchers.
The machine, which debuted in 2019, has found customers across Europe and in the USA as hempcrete construction steadily grows in popularity and research of the hemp stalk expands.
Designed by IHL founder Kristaps Eglitis, the machines are engineered and built in Riga by Peruza, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fish processing lines.
About The Best Grow
The Best Grow, which started in 2018, offers the latest cultivation, harvesting and processing technology to licensed cannabis producers across Southern Africa, sourcing machines worldwide. In addition to the HurdMaster, the company’s portfolio includes the HHH-700 series bud stripper from HHH Hemp Harvesting Technology, Hanover, Germany; greenhouse technology from Cannapro, and trimmers from CenturionPro, both of Canada; and potency testing technology from GemmaCert, Israel.