Polish institute gets $4.2 million fiber project

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Poland’s government-owned Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants (IWNiRZ) has been handed a 14.5 million zloty ($4.2 million) project to expand production of hemp. Poland’s Council of Ministers recently established the program by resolution.

The project envisions expansion of Polish hemp fields to circa 8,000 hectares (19,700 acres) by the time it ends in 2020. Polish hemp fields in 2017 were estimated at 1,300 hectares (3,200 acres). The government said that among the many uses it envisions for hemp is biomass for energy production. Poland has a goal to produce 30% of the nation’s energy needs with biomass by 2025.

The new program continues IWNiRZ’s development of a broader portfolio of commercially viable products based on ongoing research into hemp as well as machinery and processing technology.

IWNiRZ recently signed a contract with two US-based hemp firms to sell certified planting seed in The Americas. And the Institute announced just last year it had developed a new hemp variety that produces four times more seed yield for edible oil than typical hemp plants. That seed is not yet widely available.

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