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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 73968, tabled on 12 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the potential for British grown hemp to expand sustainable agricultural and industrial production.

Answered on

22 November 2021

Hemp is a long-standing crop in UK agriculture with a variety of uses, and Defra has an interest in exploring the benefits to UK farmers.

Defra has commissioned a research project “Review of opportunities for diversifying UK agriculture through investment in underutilised crops”, which includes industrial hemp. This will examine hemp cultivation from a grower and consumer standards perspective, alongside its environmental benefits. We are also considering the role of industrial hemp in the bioeconomy and the opportunities for our agriculture sector.

An enhanced evidence base will help us to better understand how novel crops can contribute to achieving environmentally sustainable actions and make informed decisions about hemp cultivation.