Poppy Cultivation – UPSC Prelims

  • Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are the three traditional opium-growing States, where poppy cultivation is allowed based on licences issued annually by the Central Bureau of Narcotics.
  • The Union government has decided to rope in the private sector to commence production of concentrated poppy straw from India’s opium crop.
  • Among the few countries permitted to cultivate the opium poppy crop for export and extraction of alkaloids, India currently only extracts alkaloids from opium gum at facilities controlled by the Revenue Department in the Finance Ministry.
  • This entails farmers extracting gum by manually lancing the opium pods and selling the gum to government factories.
  • The Ministry has decided to switch to new technologies, after trial cultivation reports by two private firms showed higher extraction of alkaloids using the concentrated poppy straw (CPS).
  • The move is planned to boost the yield of alkaloids used for medical purposes and exported to several countries.
  • It is likely to require amendments to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

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