On 16-18 June 2021 the 18° Conference of the EIHA entitled “Hemp for Europe: Emerging opportunity for the Green recovery“ was held. Vita Maria Cristiana Moliterni gave a presentation entitled “Whole crop valorization and process innovation for a circular and sustainable hemp-based bioeconomy” showing the results of the work carried out in the two project SCARABEO e CATERPILLAR, funded by Measure 16.1.01 of the RDP of Emilia-Romagna region.
In the context of Italian hemp farming, by engaging the European Structural Funds for Rural Development, two EIP-AGRI Operational Groups: SCARABEO and CATERPILLAR have developed an innovative and sustainable industrial hemp chain, providing the basis for a concrete hemp-based bioeconomy. From the organic cultivation of monoecious hemp, through product diversification (textile and technical fiber, seeds for food and feed end uses); process innovation (two patented prototype systems); co-products and processing waste valorization; service delocalization (mobile skutching plant and mobile seed press machine), the developed supply chain allows to make the most of the potential of the crop, thus increasing profitability and sustainability. New by-products with high added value are generated from fiber retting, opening up farms to new markets opportunities. The supply chain, built on a small scale and visible at the experimental farm Stuard (Parma – ITALY) is already in the phase of scaling up, with investments by private companies interested in the production of textile fiber.