I am interested in information on using hemp to produce paper products in developing countries. I am particularly interested in toilet tissue, paper towels, and paper napkins. What kind of pulp preparation is needed and are there machines available that do it? I would also like to use the hemp fiber for clothing and other related uses. I’m also curious about seed availability, the difficulties and needs in order to become a self sufficient operation. Also, what kind of electrical and labor supplies a small processing plant would need. Information on the types and the amounts of waste produced, uses for this waste and so on. Please provide any information you might have that may help me to open this type of plant. Thanks.
A #1. What countries in particular? Here in London we are meeting with hemp farmers from Kenya and Uganda who have very similar aims. One has access to a paper plant, in fact, they have cut down the trees around the plant so they need to replace the wood fiber with something local. Hemp is especially good for thin papers. The thinnest that I know is either cigarette paper or 16gsm cosmetic tissue made by a French firm. Papers for Bibles are often made of hemp. Getting seeds is something they are working on. EcoFibres of Australia is in talks with them, though there are other seed banks, mainly in the Soviet bloc. Textile production would be ideal, but it may take a lot of time just now if you are starting out in a Third World country, and you would need to perfect the processes and have the machinery; most do not, and even here in the UK, hemp that was grown for textiles had to be shipped to Romania for processing. Presently we are putting information up at www.hempforvictory.blogspot.com and there you can use the key word search as an index to look at what you want. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com and I’d be happy to work with you further. Regards, Kenyon Gibson