MORE than 400 hectares of alkaloid poppies planted in NSW’s Central West and Riverina are on track to be harvested this season.
The changes will help with the production of opiate-based medications and drive a new industry worth up to $100 million over the next 10 years.
Opiate-based medications are used for a variety of conditions, including pain relief, palliative care and anti-addiction medications.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the opiate poppy crop flowering was a significant milestone for the state.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a paddock of commercially-grown opiate poppies in full bloom in NSW,” Mr Blair said.
“I understand the rest of the crop, growing in undisclosed locations around the state, is doing just as well as this one, which means poppy crops in NSW have a strong future.”
The Department of Primary Industries issues licences and oversees the cultivation, processing and movement of alkaloid poppies. It is illegal to take, use, sell or grow poppies without a licence in NSW.
Source: NSW Government