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Alkaloids : Cultivation Of Opium in India

Cultivation Of Opium:

The Union government has decided to rope in the private sector to commence production of concentrated poppy straw from India’s opium crop to boost the yield of alkaloids.

  • Alkaloids are used for medical purposes and exported to several countries.

Cultivation of opium:

  • Only a few countries are permitted to cultivate the opium poppy crop for export and extraction of alkaloids.
  • India currently only extracts alkaloids from opium gum at facilities controlled by the Revenue Department in the Finance Ministry.
  • This entails farmers extracting gum by manually lancing the opium pods and selling the gum to government factories.
  • India’s opium crop acreage has been steadily declining over the years and using the CPS extraction method is expected to help cut the occasional dependence on imports of products like codeine (extracted from opium) for medicinal uses.

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