Uncertain future in sea of poppies
- November 18, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Uncertain future in sea of poppies
Subject : Geography
Section: Economic geography
- New challenges arised from the intersection of cultural pride and economic shifts in opium cultivation in India and various concerns surrounding the government’s policy shift, addressing potential impacts on livelihoods, national security and transparency.
- Opium Farmers in India: About 1 lakh farmers across 22 districts in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have licenses to cultivate opium.
- Major Opium-Producing Districts: Mandsaur, Neemuch, and Chittorgarh contribute to 80% of India’s opium production.
- Change in Government Policy (2021): Government policy shift in 2021 allows private players to produce CPS, aiming to boost alkaloid yield.
- Economic Impact on Farmers: Opium farmers face economic challenges, citing stagnant procurement rates, increased input costs, and reduced poppy seed yield under the new system.
- Cultural Significance of Opium Cultivation: Opium farming is a source of cultural pride, termed “agriculture of dignity” in the Mewar region, linking social status to this traditional trade and reflecting generations’ engagement.
- Government Policy Shift in 2021: In 2021, the government allowed private players to produce Concentrate of Poppy Straw (CPS) alongside traditional opium gum, aiming to boost alkaloid yield and align India with global practices.However, this shift faces resistance from opium farmers.
- Concerns about Private Players: Opium farmers express worries about the entry of private companies, fearing threats to livelihood, profits, and national security.Farmers argue that private involvement may lead to misuse of opium, increased drug trafficking, and rising costs of life-saving medicines.
- Impact on Farmers and Traditional Practices: Opium farmers face economic challenges, citing stagnant procurement rates, increased input costs, and reduced poppy seed yield under the new system.The shift to CPS raises concerns about transparency, farmer consultation, and the potential decline in income for traditional opium cultivators.
- Threat to Livelihood and National Security: Opium farmers fear that private entry may endanger their profession and lead to increased drug-related issues.There is a possibility of drug mafia influence and security threats if alkaloids fall into the wrong hands.
- Impact of Policy Shift on Farmers: Economic challenges for opium farmers, including reduced poppy seed yield and concerns about transparent practices under CPS.Farmers worry about income loss and express dissatisfaction with the lack of government consultation.
- Safety and Security of Alkaloids: Opium farmers question the safety and security of alkaloids under private production.Fears that private involvement may compromise the integrity of life-saving medicines made from opium.
- Division among Farmers and Lack of Transparency: Farmers express concerns about the government creating divisions with two production systems. Calls for transparent policies and farmer involvement, alleging a lack of transparency in the CPS mechanism.
Some prominant Phrases regarding opium
- Swabhiman ki Kheti (Agriculture of Dignity): Opium cultivation holds cultural pride in the Mewar region, reflecting social status.
- Afeem and Aulat Barabar (Poppy Plants and Children Deserve Similar Treatment): Highlights the cultural significance of opium, equating it with the care given to children.
- Concentrate of Poppy Straw (CPS): New method introduced in 2021, allowing private players to extract alkaloids from poppy straw alongside traditional opium gum.
- Make in India: Farmers question the government’s commitment to “Make in India” while allowing imports of poppy seeds.