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Business News/ Industry / Agriculture/  More farmers to get opium production licence in 2023-24
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More farmers to get opium production licence in 2023-24

Poppy cultivation is strictly regulated and licences are granted by the government every year for producing the key raw material for pharmaceuticals

Poppy is grown in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar PradeshPremium
Poppy is grown in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi: Nearly 112,000 farmers are expected to receive licences for poppy cultivation in the 2023-24 crop year as part of the new licensing policy, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

Poppy cultivation is strictly regulated and licences are granted by the government every year for producing the key raw material for pharmaceuticals. Poppy is grown in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The ministry said that 27,000 more farmers are expected to get licenses in the 2023-24 crop year, compared to the year before in these three states.

The number of opium cultivators who would be eligible for getting license are nearly 54,500 from Madhya Pradesh, 47,000 from Rajasthan and 10,500 from Uttar Pradesh. This is almost 2.5 times the average number of farmers who were given licenses during the five-year period ending 2014-15, the ministry said.

This increase is with the objective to meet the increasing demand for pharmaceutical preparations for palliative care and other medical purposes, both domestically and internationally. It would further ensure that the production of alkaloid (organic compound from the plant) meets domestic demand as well as the requirement of the Indian export industry, the ministry said.

The central government is consistently working on increasing the demand and processing capacity within the country. With an increase in demand and processing capacity, it is expected that the number of farmers given licenses for cultivation of opium poppy shall increase to 1.45 lakh in coming three years, the ministry said.

The system of licensing for unlanced poppy was started in a modest way from 2020-21 and has been expanded since then. Central Government has augmented the capacity of its own alkaloid factories. It is moving for adoption of good management practices in these factories and has already engaged with the private sector for processing of opium gum as well as poppy straw to augment opium processing capacity in India. The government intends to further significantly expand the licensing for unlanced poppy. This will enable India to not only, meet its domestic demand but also export alkaloid and alkaloid-based preparations, the ministry said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gireesh Chandra Prasad
Gireesh has over 22 years of experience in business journalism covering diverse aspects of the economy, including finance, taxation, energy, aviation, corporate and bankruptcy laws, accounting and auditing.
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Updated: 15 Sep 2023, 09:20 AM IST
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