The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) has received a $200,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Access Program grant to help develop industrial hemp exports. The trade association said the export programs will focus on Europe and China markets, including market research, and trade policy and facilitation.
Kevin Latner, NIHC’s senior vice president for trade and marketing who will be responsible for implementing the program, said the group is “grateful for USDA confidence and the recognition of NIHC as the industry leader in industrial hemp trade and marketing.”
“Today’s announcement makes NIHC a trusted partner to USDA for hemp fiber, feed, food and CBD companies looking to break down trade barriers in markets overseas.” – Latner in a press release
The NIHC said the funding will also show foreign governments that the organization “is supported by the U.S. government and represents U.S. industry interests.”
According to the trade group, the global industrial hemp and products market was estimated at $11.1 billion in retail sales in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 52 percent. By next year, the NIHC estimates that global trade of hemp will reach $8.1 billion across all markets, representing a three-year compound annual growth rate of 83 percent. The organization forecasts the global market will be valued at $89 billion by 2025.
The funds will be administered to the NIHC through the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA.
In September, Delaware State University received a $591,628 federal grant from the National Science Foundation for its Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Hemp Initiative Project. Last year, the USDA awarded a $500,000 grant to Virginia Tech and University of Tennessee, Knoxville researchers studying the transport of pollen from genetically modified hemp and switchgrass.