Cannabis Cultivation : Pavitra Joshi of Uttarakhand showed social business model by standing with cannabis, connected many farmers with him
T-shirts and health care products made from hemp produced by cannabis cultivation
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name of cannabis? Certainly an addictive substance, but it is not. Globally, it is used to make many products. Pavitra Joshi, a resident of Almora, Uttarakhand, is also working to break the misconception about cannabis. His startup ‘Kumaon Khand’ produces many products of cannabis. Pavitra Joshi had a special conversation with Kisan of India on why he chose cannabis and how he created a social business model from cannabis.
Startup with desire of social change
Pavitra holds a post graduate degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Pavitra told that he had to work on a project during his studies. Such a project, which is connected with the society, leaves a social mark and bring change in the society. Pavitra says that being originally from the mountain, he wanted to do some work that would change the lifestyle of the mountain people and create employment opportunities. In 2018, the Uttarakhand government had approved cannabis. cultivation of During this time, Pavitra started field survey from Almora to Bageshwar. He found in research that hemp is being used abroad from the food industry to the fabric industry. Instead of plastic, hemp fibre is used to make vehicles. Fuel is also being made from its seeds. It is said that there is a lot of cannabis plant in the mountains. Its cultivation has also been approved. That’s why he started his social business startup from cannabis itself.
Products are in four categories
Pavitra started this project in college itself. He ran a pilot project for a year and started research. In 2019, hemp salt and hemp seed oil were launched in the market. Pavitra said that these products have received good response. In this way he started making many more products. Today their products are made in four categories – food, fashion, construction, personal and health care. The food category includes hemp seed oil, hemp salt, protein powder, hemp hearts. Later on, work is also going on to bring Hemp Butter.
The fashion category consists of hemp t-shirts and hemp masks. T-shirts and masks are prepared by extracting the fibre from the cannabis plant and making thread from it.
The home stay has been prepared in the construction category. Pavitra explains that because the home stay is made of hemp stalk, it does not attract termites. Fire and water also do not affect it. It also costs less in making. Pavitra says that Uttarakhand is a tourist destination. There is a lot of potential here in the construction category. Pavitra further said that tourists come to know many things related to hemp by coming to this home stay. From processing of hemp to how the products are prepared, people are told about it.
Through this business model, Pavitra also aims to make people aware of cannabis. In personal and health care, hemp manufactures shampoo bars, creams, body lotions and CBD oils. He has also tied up with Ayurvedic doctors who measure the parameters of the product.
Many benefits of cannabis cultivation
Pavitra told that the cannabis plant reaches a height of 14 to 20 feet, just like a bamboo plant. Just as many products are made from bamboo, in the same way more than 25,000 products can be made from hemp. The fibre from the cannabis plant is very strong. It consumes less water in its cultivation. Even animals do not harm it.
Many farmers joined
About 300 farmers of Pithoragarh, Bageshwar and Almora districts are associated with Kumaon division. They buy cannabis from them. Apart from this, 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) from Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora and Nainital are also associated with them.
Features of products
Pavitra explains that omega is found in abundance in cannabis. One teaspoon of the protein powder they prepare contains 10 grams of protein. The oil made from it is helpful in controlling sugar and improves digestion power. Its oil is also used in food. Pavitra Joshi says that there are many of his customers who are now using hemp seed oil instead of olive oil.
Some important things related to cannabis
Hemp are made from the same species of plant. These species are divided into male and female. In this, cannabis is made from the male species and hemp is made from the female species. The plant from which both are made is called Cannabis.
Generally in India, cultivation of cannabis is prohibited in most of the states. In 1985, the Government of India banned the cultivation of cannabis under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, but the Act allows state governments to carry out uncontrolled and regulated cultivation of cannabis for industrial or horticultural purposes.
Cannabis cultivation is legal in Uttarakhand. In 2018, the state government had given permission to cultivate cannabis. Since then cannabis is cultivated here in a controlled and regulated manner. The Uttarakhand government is promoting industrial hemp cultivation as a business model.
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