Development of value-added markets for flax and hemp fibre will get a federal investment of $9.6 million.
The Natural Fibres for the Green Economy Network (NAFGEN), led by Flax Canada 2015, is meant to connect “top researchers, industry and producers” to help create more industrial value chains by improving fibre crop varieties, technologies and processes, and by improving the products and chemicals made from fibre crops and their “associated residue.”
“Working as a team affords the best opportunity for the industry to develop new and improved technology and products for both flax and hemp fibre,” said Barry Hall, president of Flax Canada 2015, in a release.
Flax Canada 2015 is an initiative of the Flax Council of Canada, set up to support the value-added sector for flax with an eye on “whole-crop utilization” – that is, putting the entire plant to food, feed, fibre, health, and/or industrial use.
NAFGEN, the government said, is “working towards breeding better varieties of flax and hemp, and solving problems with harvesting, processing, storage, transportation and grading.”