Poppy – Cultivation


After India gained independence in 1947, the control over cultivation and manufacture of opium became responsibility of the Central Government with effect from 1st April, 1950. By virtue of the Opium and Revenue laws (Extension of Application) Act 1950, the three Central Government enactments, viz. the Opium act 1857, the Opium Act 1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1930, became uniformly applicable in all the States of Indian Union.

At present the Narcotics Commissioner along with the subordinates exercises all powers and performs all functions relating to superintendence of the cultivation of the opium poppy and production of opium. The Commissioner derives this power from the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 and Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Rules, 1985. License for manufacture of certain types of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance as well as permits for export and import of narcotic drugs, psychotropic and controlled substances are issued with the the approval and permission of the Narcotics Commissioner.

The Government of India announces the licensing policy for cultivation of opium poppy every year, prescribing, interalia, the minimum qualifying yield for issue of or renewal of licence, maximum area that can be cultivated by an individual cultivator, the maximum benefit that can be allowed to a cultivator for damage due to natural causes, etc. The opium poppy can be cultivated only in such tracts as are notified by the Government. At present these tracts are confined to three States,viz. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh and Chittorgarh and Jhalawar Districts of Rajasthan constitute about 80% of the total area.