‘Hemp cluster’ being set up in Zhytomyr region, with $5mln in investments
Michel Terestchenko, the former mayor of the town of Hlukhiv in the Sumy region, is going to attract up to USD 5 million in investments in a cluster for growing technical hemp in the Zhytomyr region.
In an interview with AgroPortal, an agriculture business news media outlet, Mr Terestchenko said that part of the money would be borrowed from banks, and the rest given by private investors interested in the project.
Ukraine's first industrial park for industrial hemp and flax was announced back in February.
"In 2024, we plan to establish a technical hemp plantation in the village of Ryzhany with an area of up to 850 hectares, and in 2025, 1250 hectares. This is the maximum area that can be harvested by one new specialised harvester that we are purchasing from France," Mr Terestchenko said.
"It is possible that we will eventually buy another combine and double the area."
The village was chosen because it is home to the mothballed Volodarsk-Volynskyi flax mill, which is earmarked for reconstruction.
"Our global goal is to revive the textile industry in the country," Mr Terestchenko said.
According to him, about USD 2 million will be spent on the reconstruction of the mill, nearly USD 1.5 million on special equipment, and another USD 1 million on work organisation and seeds.
Michel Terestchenko, a descendant of a well-known dynasty of Ukrainian entrepreneurs and philanthropists, was elected mayor of Hlukhiv in 2015.
He tried to establish the production of industrial hemp and flax in Hlukhiv and developed the local institute of bast crops.
In 2018, Mr Terestchenko sold his flax and hemp business to a Belgian partner, claiming to have invested EUR 1.5 million in the production.