Hemp and European Green Deal
The European Green Deal is a comprehensive plan that aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The agreement covers a wide range of initiatives and goals. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy and promoting sustainable agriculture. One of the key ways hemp farming can contribute to these goals is through its role in promoting sustainable agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Growing hemp requires little pesticides and herbicides, which may make it a sustainable crop for farmers. Hemp is susceptible to few pests because of the lack of natural predators. That means that the use of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides can be avoided in most cases.
In addition, hemp yields a high yield per hectare, which means that it can produce more products per unit of land compared to other crops. This makes it an efficient use of resources and helps reduce the impact on the ecosystem.
Another key advantage of cannabis cultivation is its ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Hemp is a fast-growing plant that can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Carbon storage: one hectare of hemp sequesters 9 to 15 tonnes of CO2. This is similar to the amount sequestered by a young forest, but it only takes five months to grow. This helps reduce the agricultural sector’s overall carbon footprint, making it a key contributor to the European Green Deal’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, it can have an impact on biodiversity and soil erosion prevention. For hemp, flowering cycle usually occurs between July and September, coinciding with a lack of pollen production from other crops. Hemp produces large amounts of pollen. It also provides shelter for birds and hemp seeds are a food for animals. And, in case of soil quality, dense leaves of hemp become a natural soil cover. They reduce water loss and protect against soil erosion. Hemp covers the ground just three weeks after germination.
In addition, hemp can also play a role in reducing energy consumption in the construction sector. Hemp-based building materials such as hempcrete are highly energy efficient and can help reduce buildings’ energy needs. You can read about hempcrete HERE.
This contributes to the European Green Deal’s goal of reducing energy consumption and promoting the use of renewable energy. Hemp cultivation also offers opportunities for rural development and job creation, especially in areas that face economic difficulties as a result of the decline of traditional farming practices. By supporting the development of the hemp-based industry, rural areas can benefit from new employment and growth opportunities, contributing to the European Green Deal’s goal of promoting sustainable economic growth. In conclusion, hemp cultivation can play a significant role in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal. By promoting sustainable agriculture, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to rural development and job creation, hemp farming can help Europe achieve a more sustainable and greener future. As the demand for sustainable products continues to grow, hemp cultivation is likely to become an increasingly important part of the European agricultural landscape.