Innovating with industrial hemp to boost economic development in Poland’s rural areas.
Poland’s rural areas are destined for slow growth or a slow downward spiral based on current conditions. Local economic development can only be driven by innovative, well-conceived local initiatives that bind farmers together, and merge farming and manufacturing processes to produce products that can be sold across Europe. Such development can go a long way to reversing the negative economics of Polish villages and towns. Beginning in 2014, The Nakło Foundation, which is restoring the palace, also launched To Grow A Village, an economic development project based on re-introducing the cultivation and processing of industrial hemp to our parish.
To Grow a Village is a public-private project for rural economic development working in concert with local government, relevant Polish national ministries and regulators, entrepreneurs and investors. We believe growing industrial hemp and the development of low-level local hemp processing and manufacturing facilities holds great potential to expand the economies of Poland’s rural villages, towns and counties, which suffer the lingering after-effects of socialist policies imposed during the post-WWII period to 1989. While 97% of Polish farms are now in private hands, fully half are held by Polish farmers who work small subsistence-level plots on a “from my field to my table” basis – with very little outside commercial activity.
The Nakło Foundation is also the initiator and owner of HempToday, a global information company that operates a business-to-business information service, publishes HempToday magazine and plays host to educational and professional seminars and other events supporting the hemp business.