Within the PANACEA Project two training days were organized for farmers to transfer practical knowledge on the cultivation of the main NFC identified for Italy.
The first day was held in classroom, followed by a demo day at a 10-hectare hemp cultivation. About 30 farmers, mainly less than 30 years old attended the training.
Firstly, PANACEA Project was presented. Strengths and opportunities, as well as critical issues for Cardoon, Camelina, Hemp, Sorghum and Giant reed were analysed. Moreover the PANACEA Platform aiming at sharing knowledge and matching between the supply and demand sides of NFC was showed (https://app.panacea-h2020.eu/).
The agricultural practices for hemp and cardoon were analysed in detail. The preferred type of soil, timing for land preparation and for sowing and transplanting, spacing and plantation density, irrigation regime, fertilization and treatments, timing and methods of harvesting were analysed. Moreover, the market potentialities and profitability were showed for each value chain through the analysis of production costs and selling prices.
In the end of the classroom day, farmers were engaged in group discussions aimed at evaluating the understanding of the topics discussed.
The morning after a field visit was held at a 10-hectare hemp cultivation and at the annexed facilities aimed at flowers and biomass processing for cannabidiol (CBD) extraction. The demo-day was very profitable allowing the farmers to verify directly in field the topics learned in the classroom and receive first hand practical information by the technician in charge of the cultivation.
The results of the training will be used to elaborate a synthetic factsheet on hemp cultivation that will be available on the PANACEA Platform.