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MP opium farmers in lurch over lack of purchase policy: RKMM

Press Trust of India  |  Indore 

A large number of farmers engaged in legal production of in are in a quandary in absence of a clear policy from the about the purchase of the husk, according to a

"The has not announced any clear policy about the purchase of husk since the last two years. This has affected the farmers engaged in legitimate cultivation of in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam and some other areas," Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM) told today.

According to a official, around 27,000 farmers are engaged in legal cultivation of in the state.

Sharma demanded that the declare the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for husk at the earliest and start purchasing it from farmers.

"After the purchase, the state government may destroy or use it," he said.

Owing to growing use of "doda chura" or poppy husk by drug addicts, the on April 1, 2016 announced that destruction of poppy husk was the right option and banned its purchase and sale in the entire country.

Doda Chura is the dry part of opium crop that remains after extracting opium (afeem) and (Khaskhas) during processing. A very small amount of is found in poppy husk.

Sharma claimed the state government failed to start purchasing poppy husk even after an announcement was made in this regard by

"The had made an announcement that the state government would destroy poppy husk after purchasing it from farmers. But, the state government is yet to start the purchase of poppy husk," he claimed.

Sharma said opium producers are facing problems in the absence of a clear policy.

"They (farmers) are not destroying stored poppy husk in expectation that the government would purchase it from them. Simultaneously, these farmers are living in fear of being booked in criminal cases (due to illegal trade of opium in some areas)," he said.

Meanwhile, incidents of illegal trade of opium are on a rise in and adjoining areas.

When asked about growing incidents of poppy husk smuggling, superintendent of police said, "We take quick action whenever we receive information about illegal sell and purchase as well as smuggling of poppy husk. We make arrests under NDPS (Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances) Act in such instances,"

Discussions are going on at the state level about the destruction of the poppy husk, he said.

district is one of the major opium-producing areas in the country. During the farmers' agitation last year, six farmers were killed in Mandsaur in the police firing on June 6.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, the government-monitored opium farming is allowed in and for therapeutic and scientific purposes.

and Codeine, used in pain management, are derived from opium poppy and used in manufacture of drugs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 19:35 IST