Crop Year 2023-24: The Annual Licensing Policy for Opium Poppy is a policy announced by the Government of India every year, detailing the regulations and requirements for opium poppy cultivation during the specific crop year.
Prescriptions: This policy includes various prescriptions such as the minimum qualifying yield, maximum cultivation area, maximum benefit for farmers, and more.
Highlights of the Policy
Increased Licenses: The policy anticipates granting licenses to 1.12 lakh farmers, which is 27,000 more than the previous crop year.
Distribution: The licenses will be distributed across different states, with the majority going to Madhya Pradesh (54,500), followed by Rajasthan (47,000), and Uttar Pradesh (10,500).
Retention of Licenses: Existing opium cultivators with an average yield of Morphine (MQY-M) ≥ 4.2 kg/ha will retain their licenses.
CPS-Based Method: Other opium gum cultivators with morphine content yields ranging from 3.0 to 4.2 kg/ha are eligible for a CPS-based (Centralized Procurement System) method with a five-year license validity.
Continuity for CPS-based Farmers: All CPS-based farmers from the previous year will continue with CPS-based cultivation for the current year.
Relaxation in License Conditions: General license conditions have been relaxed to increase farmer coverage, promoting opium poppy cultivation.
Objective: The primary objective of the policy is to meet the rising demand for pharmaceutical preparations, both domestically and internationally.
Alkaloid Production: It aims to ensure that alkaloid production from opium poppy meets domestic demand and fulfills Indian export requirements.
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Where Does Opium Poppy Cultivation Occur?
States: Opium poppy cultivation is restricted to government-notified tracts in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
Major Cultivation Areas: Major cultivation areas include Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and Chittorgarh and Jhalawar in Rajasthan.
When Was the Licensing System Initiated?
Initiation: The licensing system for opium poppy cultivation was initiated in the year 2020-21 and has been expanded since then.
Key Facts About Central Government’s Measures
Augmented Capacity: The Central Government has augmented the capacity of alkaloid factories to meet the demand for alkaloids derived from opium poppy.
Good Management Practices: Good Management Practices are being adopted to ensure responsible cultivation and processing.
Private Sector Engagement: The government has engaged with the private sector for opium gum and poppy straw processing, enhancing the efficiency of the supply chain.
Expansion Plans: There is a plan to expand licensing for unlanced poppy cultivation, further boosting production.