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Rosenstare finden auf dem Gelände der Aufbereitungsanlage einen angenehmen Lebensraum © Clara Baier



Development of a process for obtaining high-quality textile hemp fibres on cotton sites in South Kazakhstan and implementation of German harvesting and processing technology

Duration :

01/01/2019 - 12/31/2021

External Funding :

€ 807,921.00

Partner countries :

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

Funding Body :

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Within the project KASHEMP, German, Kazakh and Kyrgyz partners are jointly optimising the cultivation and processing methods for Kazakh textile hemp using German technologies.

The textile hemp fibres are intended to provide both the local textile industry in Kazakhstan and the export market with a sustainable alternative to cotton, simultaneously strengthening local value creation. 

Kazakhstan is one of the world’s most important cotton producers. Cotton, however, is a crop with a very high water demand and usually requires intensive irrigation – with all the associated ecological problems. The most prominent example is the almost complete desiccation of the Aral Sea over the second half of the last century.

The deep-rooted fibre hemp, on the other hand, is able to use soil water reserves much more effectively than cotton: It manages to penetrate even heavily compacted soil with its potent root system and, thereby, accesses groundwater resources inaccessible to most plants.

This property makes it suitable for Central Asia’s vast open landscapes, where water scarcity is the limiting factor for agricultural use given the semi-arid to arid climate – a situation that will only be exacerbated in the coming years as climate change progresses and calls for new approaches in land use.

Rainer Novotny präsentiert Ergebnisse des mechanischen GrobaufschlussesJPG

Sustainable and economic: When no longer used, the textile raw materials to be developed should qualify to be returned to the natural material cycle in an environmentally neutral way. The goal is to produce tear-resistant fine fibres that are largely free of foreign substances and of a quality comparable to cotton or wool, rendering them suitable for use as blending agents in textile products.  

A consortium of German, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz companies and scientific institutions is addressing matters of the entire technological chain from agricultural cultivation to textile fibres or yarns. Local growth trials and the first processing stage on site provide the raw materials with which scientific concepts for quality-oriented finishing and processing are currently being developed. 

From crop to product – social sustainability: In addition to protecting the natural environment, KASHEMP also takes social aspects into account and emphasises the need for increased international cooperation that equally benefits all regions involved. This way, the project secures regional jobs along the entire value chain from agriculture to the processing industry. 

  • Sachsen-Leinen e. V. (Koordinator) 

  • 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 

  • World Agroforestry (ICRAF) Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan 

  • ТОО Kyzilschokty, Kazakhstan 

  • Kazakh Research Institute of Agriculture and Plant growing, Kazakhstan 

  • TOO Kashemp, Kazakhstan 



M.Sc. Lovis Kneisel

Dipl. Ing. Dmitrij Antonov

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