100 hektarw legalnej plantacji konopi w Polsce
The smell of marijuana. Characteristic, fivefinger leaves are all over me. But all of this is absolutely legal, even though I’m at a hemp plantation. Hemp for industrial use. Wojciech Zalewski is the catcher in the hemp. He is probably the biggest grower of this plant in Poland. In Pomerania grows hemp at an area of over 100 hectares. And, according to him, it cannot be better. Earlier there were mostly grains here,.
Now, as you can see, we have first of all industrial hemp. We have decided on it, because we see it as very promising. At this moment, the EU gives very good subsidies for hemp, so we made the decision. What’s more, it weeds the soil. A few dozen years ago, industrial hemp was very common in Poland. Every sheaf binder had a twine made from hemp. The Soviet army based on hemp ropes. Later synthetic fibres were introduced, and hemp started to be associated with drugs.
But smoking industrial hemp is more or less as efficient as drinking nonalcoholic beer. I cut a few square meters and two sportstyle dressed men, their hair cut short, came up to me. And they started to teach me, that it’s useless, because it is industrial stuff. Of course they thought I was stealing it. So it is better to use the seeds in the food industry, to make oil or flour. Fibre is used in automotive industry, furnituremaking and clothing. Maciej Kowalski is wearing a hat, a Tshirt and even socks made from hemp.
And the stalk is used for heat insulation of buildings. Why did the hemp boom start so late? Because it was forbidden by the law. We still have some loopholes, so we need to chase around different municipalities and so on, but finally we manage to do it. But it is not all singing and dancing. Problems came in the autumn.
No proper harvesting machinery is available. Finally ordinary combineharvesters were used. But every hour or even halfanhour you need to stop and clean the machine. Maciej Kowalski, who is buying industrial hemp, admits that even legal problems are not as big an obstacle as the lack of machinery. And so the fibre is coming out from all around. This fibreâ€¦ Is very hard to tear, isn’t it? Yes.
It is a serious thing. Like a decent string. Even with a smaller pieceâ€¦ I cannot do it. And thanks to this we are able to produce very durable things. How much the farmer could earn on this? Wojciech Zalewski is still waiting for the end of the harvests. Even though he looks at his field with optimism, he doesn’t want to talk about exact numbers. Maciej Kowalski says that profit could be really nice. More than on rape seed, which is a base for my calculations.
The revenue from such a field, depending of course on crop yield, is about 7,000 zlotys. And the costs are relatively low, because it is around 3,000. We have extra subsidy for hemp so the farmer can earn 45 thousand zlotys net from one hectare. On dope dealing you can of course earn more, but growing industrial hemp is legal, even though you should be prepared for potential police visits. The owners of the fields are often the victims of whistleblowing.