India has long been known for its agricultural sector, which is considered one of the most sustainable in the world.
But the country is now poised to grow a huge industry on the back of its homegrown hemp, the second-largest crop in the country, according to a report by the International Hemp Industries Association (IHEIA).
The country’s hemp industry, estimated at about $8 billion, has grown from $1.5 billion in 2010 to $9.2 billion in 2017, according the IHEIA.
“India has long had a very active industrial hemp industry and is now the largest producer of the plant in the region,” said Dr. Satish Sharma, president of IHEI.
He said India was the largest market for the crop globally and in recent years it was one of several countries where industrial hemp was being grown.
Industrial hemp is a versatile, non-toxic fibre that can be used to make many different products, including textiles, plastics, and pharmaceuticals, according an IHEA report.
The IHEIE estimates that India’s industrial hemp production, worth around $1 billion annually, is projected to grow to $6.4 billion in 2021, reaching $9 billion by 2022.
According to the report, India’s hemp production has grown over the last decade, but the sector is still in its infancy.
India, however, has a long history of industrial hemp cultivation and production, Sharma said.
During the last century, India imported the hemp from China and imported it to Europe and North America.
In 1947, India signed a deal with the United States to cultivate the crop.
India exported hemp to Europe in the 1950s and ’60s, and then to the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates in the 1970s and 1980s.
IHEI estimates that by 2021, India will have about 5.5 million hectares of hemp in cultivation, with about 4.4 million hectares under production, according.
India is currently importing more than $500 million worth of hemp products a year.
India has been working on a national hemp policy for the last five years.
India has a population of about 6 million and the country has more than 1.4 trillion tons of cannabis.
The country produces about half of the world’s opium, according a report released by the National Narcotics Control Board.
Experts say the current crop could be a catalyst for a new wave of growth in the industry, which has seen its share of hemp cultivation decline in recent decades due to its high price.
This year’s crop has already been harvested and is ready to be harvested, Sharma added.
The plant was used for a wide variety of products, from textiles to clothing to paper, Sharma told CNBC.
But it is the potential for industrial hemp to be exported that makes India a major market for it, Sharma noted.
India’s hemp farmers and traders have been growing hemp on a large scale for about 150 years, Sharma explained.
In the past, the farmers in the area have been cultivating hemp for the production of textiles.
However, in the last few decades, the use of hemp has been declining.
This has caused the farmers to switch to the cultivation of hemp for more than 20 years.
India is one of a handful of countries in the developed world that does not allow industrial hemp farming.
India does not currently have a law against growing industrial hemp, which would likely mean the industry could continue to flourish, Sharma predicted.
India’s farmers, however are pushing for such a law.
The Iheia report notes that the country’s industrial industrial hemp is currently grown in less than 1 percent of the country.
India, however has some of the lowest land requirements in the Middle East and Africa, making it one of only three countries in Africa that does have a national industrial hemp policy.
Hemp cultivation is already in the process of being expanded to India’s southern states, including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, Sharma reported.