Hemp farm, file image.
The Territory’s industrial hemp industry is a step closer with the awarding of the first commercial licence to a grower.
Minister for Agribusiness and Aquaculture, Nicole Manison said the awarding of the licence would see the first crop of industrial hemp grown in the Territory, opening the door for new jobs, manufacturing and export opportunities for the Territory.
“To grow our economy, we need to diversify our economy – and expanding into the exciting sector of industrial hemp does just that,” said Ms Manison.
“Starting an industrial hemp industry here in the Territory brings with it new jobs and new manufacturing and exporting opportunities – the potential is very exciting.
She said hemp was a versatile and profitable product used for food, fibre, oil, seed and potentially stock feed – and was used in the manufacture of products like cosmetics, clothing, rope and other building materials.
“The establishment of this industry in the Territory has the potential to facilitate further investment and job opportunities, and shows the world, the Territory is open for business,” the Minister said.
Local farmer and successful hemp growing licensee, Michael Jakobi said he turned to hemp as an alternative to traditional crops.
“I applied for a commercial hemp licence because I wanted an alternative to growing hay and because I thought it would be a good rotational fit with some of my crops,” said Mr Jakobi.
“The fact that hemp is multi-use is very appealing, I am also interested in the possible soil conditioning benefits planting hemp may have for my future crops.”
The Minister said the Territory had a competitive advantage when growing hemp, with the potential to produce a viable dry season seed crop which can be supplied to the rest of Australia for summer planting.
“This is just one example of how the Territory is Australia’s comeback capital. We are on the road to recovery, and we are doing it with new industries and more jobs,” said Ms Manison.