ANDERSON URGES FARMERS TO CONSIDER POPPIES
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson is encouraging local farmers to consider growing poppies following the passage of the Poppy Industry Bill 2016 through NSW Parliament today.
Mr Anderson introduced the legislation to Parliament having previously researched the growing and production of alkaloid poppies in Tasmania while advocating for the introduction of medicinal marijuana.
“There are a wide range of conditions that use opiate-based medications and I welcome this bill which supports the manufacture and production of these products in a cost-effective way,” Mr Anderson said.
“The passing of this bill provides our local agricultural industry a unique opportunity to diversify their operations and take advantage of a new high-value rural industry with great prospects of future growth.
“Australia currently supplies about half the world’s licit supply of opiates and global demand is steadily rising so now is the ultimate time for those who are interested in joining the poppy growing industry.
“We are well placed in our region with prime agricultural land to expand the variety of crops that can be grown and I encourage our local farmers to consider whether they have the capabilities to grow poppies.
“By continuing to strengthen our local agricultural industry we help secure the future of the smaller communities in our electorate.”
Alkaloid poppy production will be highly regulated at state, national and international levels, with licence conditions and guidelines providing clear and rigorous requirements for the industry.
The first alkaloid poppy crops are expected to be planted in 2017, with poppy processors and contracted growers able to apply to the Department of Primary Industries for a licence.