New poppy industry to bloom
There’s a new market on the horizon for our farmers with the release of the NSW Government’s Poppy Industry Bill 2016, leading the way for a new commercial alkaloid poppy industry in NSW. The new industry has a potential to be worth up to $100 million in ten years if global demand continues to rise, providing jobs and greater opportunities for people in NSW.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair has spoken positively of this new legislation and has said that the Bill enables alkaloid poppies to be safely and securely grown, supporting the production of medicines that are vitally important for many patients' quality of life. Opiate-based medications that are a product of alkaloid poppies are used for a wide range of conditions including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications.
The alkaloid industry in NSW also provides an opportunity to establish a new high-value rural industry with a well-established international reputation and strong prospects for future growth.
Alkaloid poppy production will be highly regulated at state, national and international levels. There will be license conditions and guidelines providing clear and rigorous requirement 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 license.