Nature & Environment

PARROT WHICH FEEDS ON OPIUM

In India poppy seeds is considered illegal for sale under Section 8 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 except to the farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan who are given license to grow and sell them to the Government – Central Bureau of Narcotics for medicinal purpose. The Government gives license for 14 months every year from October to November of next year, and are specified about the kilograms that needs to be supplied.

In recent times parrots are getting addicted to opium and are destroying the crop by either eating half of the poppy pod on the plant or by picking away the entire pod. According to the farmers each poppy pod gives around 20 – 25 grams of opium and if parrots spoil the crop they won’t be able to supply the opium produce and the chances of their licenses getting cancelled is high.

Due to lockdown in 2020 the farmers had not supplied their produce to the government and the entire produce is at home and protecting that is a new challenge for them as they have to make sure that the quality of the opium is maintained till they supply it to the government. They are not receiving any compensation too by the Government for the damages they are facing.

The parrots fly into the fields 30 – 40 times a day and spoil the crop. This is quiet enough for the farmers to face losses every year. The farmers have taken all the measures to get rid of the parrots but the parrots have learnt ways to enter the fields and to steal the poppy pods without harming themselves. The farmers burst crackers, scare them with sticks and dolls in the field, in spite of all the measures the farmers are facing the losses every year. Farmers have also complained the authorities in charge but they have not received any help or suggestions to protect them from the parrots.

Since growing poppy seeds are illegal in India, and only few get the license and even if they are facing losses due to a controllable factor then the Government won’t be able to fulfil the demand of medicines which are the by-products of opium. Hence Government has to take initiative to help the farmers to protect them from financial crisis as well as the crops from being destroyed by the parrots.

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