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Fast Facts
Land management
Funding period
01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022
Funding volume
807.921 €
Funding reference number

Coordinator: Sachsen-Leinen e.V.

Contact Person: Dipl.-Ing. agr. Torsten Brückner

Address: August-Bebel-Straße 2, 04416 Markkleeberg

Phone: +49 341 350 37-580

Email: t.brueckner(at)sachsenleinen.de


Project partners: 

  • Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V., Chemnitz
  • Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V., Potsdam
  • Hanffaser Uckermark eG, Prenzlau
  • Maschinen- und Metallbau Puffe, Schleiz
  • Temafa Maschinenfabrik GmbH, Bergisch-Gladbach

Development of a Process for the Production of High-Quality Textile Hemp Fibres at Cotton Locations in Southern Kazakhstan and Implementation of German Harvest and Processing Technology

Textile production causes strong environmental impacts worldwide. For example, the cultivation of cotton consumes high amounts of water, often in low-precipitation regions. Microplastic in the environment, caused among other things by the production and use of synthetically-based textiles, is also becoming a significant environmental problem. In the KASHEMP project, German, Kazakh and Kyrgyz partners are developing the cultivation and processing of fibre hemp for the production of textile fibres based on German technologies. This should offer an alternative supply of raw materials both for the regional textile industry in Kazakhstan and the export market and, at the same time, strengthen regional added value.

Alternative to cotton

Kazakhstan is one of the most important cotton producers worldwide. The lack of precipitation is usually compensated for by additional irrigation, with all associated environmental problems. One of the consequences is the almost complete dehydration of the Aral Sea.

Fibre hemp can use water supplies from the soil much more effectively than cotton. KASHEMP is therefore pursuing the goal of developing the cultivation and processing of fibre hemp for the production of textile fibres in the southern Kazakh regions of Almaty and Shymkent on the basis of German technologies. Based on hemp straw processing, raw textile materials
are to be developed which can be returned to the natural material cycle in an environmentally neutral manner after use. The focus is on the production of fine, tear-resistant, largely impurity-free fibres in a quality comparable to cotton or wool in order to apply it as a mixing partner in textile products. The production of textile-capable cotton-like hemp fibres should make it possible to provide a native alternative or supplement to the supply of raw materials for the regional textile industry.

KASHEMP's goal is to combine active environmental protection with sustainable management while preserving income in a problematic industry in developing and emerging economies to the benefit of both regions.

Hemp cultivation in Kazakhstan. © Kashemp OOO, M. Skymnik
Hemp cultivation in Kazakhstan. © Kashemp OOO, M. Skymnik

A consortium of German, Kazakh and Kyrgyz companies as well as scientific institutions will work on questions throughout the entire technological chain, from cultivation to textile-capable fibre or yarn. Regional cultivation experiments as well as the first processing stage are providing the raw materials for which concepts for quality-oriented refinement and processing are being developed on the basis of scientific studies. The focus is on use in the Kazakh textile industry, but also for export.

From cultivation to the product

In addition to environmental aspects, KASHEMP is also considering social components and the need to cooperate on an increasingly internationally level for the benefit of all regions involved. In this way, the project is securing regional jobs along the entire value chain, from agriculture to the manufacturing sector.

On-site cultivation trials are being accompanied by the provision of seed of productive fibre varieties as well as the identification of environmental indicators such as water consumption. German engineering partners are supporting the development of the
region and the use of adapted harvesting technology as well as the application-oriented processing of hemp straw. The support from scientific partners, especially in the evaluation of the agricultural biomass, but also the intermediate and end products, is providing essential basic knowledge for the design and adaptation of the supply chain of fibre hemp as a raw material for textile production.

Hemp fibres as a raw material for textile production. © Kashemp OOO, M. Skrymnik
Hemp fibres as a raw material for textile production. © Kashemp OOO, M. Skrymnik

Implementation prospects

If the establishment and adaptation of the intended production process succeeds, added value can be maintained in the regional textile industry. Additional prospects arise from the extensive potential for use of hemp fibres not only locally, but also against the backdrop of the growing global interest in alternative
raw textile materials. The expertise of the German mechanical engineering partners will be extended to include the knowledge and solutions developed in the target region. This will open up additional
prospects for becoming specialist providers for a sector that is growing steadily worldwide.