According to Latvian news source delfi.lv, hemp production is rising in the countryside fields of Latvia.
And we are talking about legitimate business, through out the centuries hemp was grown in the fields of Livonia. Folk songs from centuries ago tell stories about benefits, gains and profits from growing hemp.
As of year 2011 there were reported to be around 400ha of hemp fields. Originally one of the must popular plant to grow was flax, but in year 2009 the State subsidies for flax production were cut and farmers started to look for new ideas.
Because of its geography and climate, Latgale, a region in the Eastern side of Latvia, was the main flax producing area, so, after the subsidy cuts, Latgale turned to be one of the first regions to experiment with hemp production.
There is even a local hemp species researched called “Pūriņi”, which is reported to be having shorter vegetation period than Polish and French species. There are plans for constructing two more hemp treatment factories, and if things go well, some speculate that Latvia may become one of three the largest fibre plant growing countries in Europe.
Hemp seems to be an universal plant, from which anything can be made, including fibre, fabrics, food, plastics and paper. In Latvia, one of the well known hemp product is Hemp Spread(or Hemp Butter) which is produced in many countryside farms, also you can by it in Riga Central Market. You can join one of our Food Tasting Tours to try Hemp Butter and other locally made products from Latvia.
For further reading:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp#Uses – article in Wikipedia
- http://lathemp.lv/ – association of Latvian Hemp Producers
- http://www.chanvre-info.ch/info/en/Queen-praises-Latvian-hemp-s-role.html – Latvian hemp defeats Napoleon 🙂