Home Agriculture Satellite imagery to curb illegal opium cultivation in India

Satellite imagery to curb illegal opium cultivation in India

New Delhi, India: Illegal cultivation of opium is on a rise in India. There have been many instances of illicit cultivation of cannabis and poppy in the country. To keep the drug trafficking in check, India is considering using satellite imagery for detection and eradication of such illicit cultivation, Asia Times reported.

The Government of India (GoI) is also planning to open up trade in opiate-based pharmaceuticals to private players. Under the new National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, private players will be allowed to extract narcotic alkaloids such as morphine and codeine.

Now, reputable firms with an annual turnover of over of USD 20 million will be able to buy poppy plants directly and manufacture their own medicines.

“The ultimate aim is to graduate to mechanization of the extraction process as per international best practices, and to avoid illegal trafficking,” said a Health Ministry official.

Source: Asia Times