Kingdom to gain from production of hemp

Kingdom to gain from production of hemp

Industry to generate B25bn in 5 years

Members of a handicraft group demonstrate hemp crocheting and knitting in Chiang Mai province. (Photo: Karnjana Karnjanatawe)
Members of a handicraft group demonstrate hemp crocheting and knitting in Chiang Mai province. (Photo: Karnjana Karnjanatawe)

The government is aiming to make Thailand a regional manufacturing centre for hemp products in the next five years to generate at least 25 billion baht in income, said Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit on Sunday.

The plan is projected to add more value to hemp grown and harvested in Thailand by at least 20,000 baht per rai, he said.

The move will also bring about more jobs across the industry supply chain, which the government intends to boost, he said.

The plan is in line with growth in the global hemp industry, which has been driven by the easing of the plant's legal restrictions in the United States, Canada, Australia, EU, China, Japan and South Korea for commercial purposes, he said.

In 2020, the value of the global hemp industry stood at 142 billion baht with 22.4% growth that year, he said, adding that by 2027, the value is projected to reach 558 billion baht per year.

The ministry had assigned the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) to draft an operation plan to support the promotion of hemp as the country's newest cash crop, he said.

The hemp industry development plan is also consistent with the government's Bio-Circular-Green Economy policy, he said.

OIE director Thongchai Chawalitpichet said the hemp industry operation plan currently consists of four main measures.

The first measure deals with the promotion of research and development required for creating prototypes, building an industry network and ensuring the protection of intellectual property, he said.

The second measure deals mainly with supporting small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs to expand and upgrade their businesses and ensure their products meet international standards, he said.

The third measure deals with marketing promotion for locally made products in relation to logistics in the hemp product manufacturing sector, he said.

The last measure deals with the improvement of laws and regulations aimed at improving convenience in the certification of hemp products, he said.

The Centre for Hemp Excellence is now ready to be set up to manage the technical and financial support for the implementation of the regional hemp hub plan, he said.

"Hemp has become an important plant in many countries now as all parts of it can be turned into various types of products with a high commercial value," he said.

More than 50,000 types of hemp products have now been made available for sale globally, including medical and food products, beverages, animal feed, cosmetics, textiles, construction materials and materials used in certain industries, such as the modern auto, aviation and space industries, Mr Thongchai said.

In the past, hemp was processed mainly into fabric and paper, Mr Thongchai said.

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