An initiative underway in Italy will look at ways to spread innovation to advance hemp growing and production in Sicily.
“Hemp of Sicily,” an operating group comprising extraction specialist Canapar, the University of Catania, Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) and six local farms are heading up Multicanapa, a rural development project co-financed by the Italian state and the EU’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
“Multicanapa is the demonstration that to obtain tangible results and develop innovative technologies, the targeted cooperation of different stakeholders is necessary,” said Sergio Martines, CEO of Canapar, the project’s lead company.
Regional supply chains
The initiative will explore innovative solutions to support the development of diversified, integrated regional supply chains “with a view to economic, energy and environmental sustainability,” the groups said in a press release. The project is part of a scenario in which Sicily can become a cutting-edge hemp production center in Europe, said Paolo Guarnaccia, professor at the University of Catania.
“Hemp is a plant of the Sicilian cultural tradition, the product of which was mainly destined for the textile sector,” said Cristina Patanè, Senior Researcher at the CNR. “The diversification of its use in products such as food . . . would allow the introduction of hemp in the agri-food chain, contributing to the relaunch of this crop and representing a possible propulsion tool for small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the agri-food sector in Sicily.”