Government mulling more licenses for opium cultivation

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The government will consider granting more licenses for cultivation of opium poppy this year to growers who have performed well in the past, an official statement said on Monday.

“The government would consider issuing more licenses to farmers this year with good performance in the past in light of proposed augmentation of capacity of the Government Opium and Alkaloid Works, adequate demand of opium for domestic and export purposes, provided the concerned farmers have satisfied MQY and other conditions of the licensing policy of the relevant year” a finance ministry statement said.

The essential criterion of minimum qualifying yield (MQY) is specified in number of kg per hectare.

“The policy would endeavour giving priority to traditional cultivators who have been earlier granted licenses for cultivation of opium poppy,” the statement added.

The ministry also notified the general conditions for grant of license for cultivation of opium poppy in the crop year 2015-16 that begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 the next year.

It fixed the average yield of opium during the crop year 2014-15 at 56 kg per hectare for cultivators in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and an average yield of opium of not less than 52 kg per hectare for Uttar Pradesh.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) is responsible for overall supervision of cultivation as per provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and the rules thereunder.

Officers of the CBN measure each field and exercise controls to ensure that no excess cultivation takes place.

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