Farmers across South Australia are being encouraged to flag their interest in cultivating opium poppies following the release of PIRSA’s Expression of Interest today.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, David Ridgway, is urging farmers to take up this opportunity following his amendment to the Controlled Substances Act 1984 last year, legalising opium poppy cultivation in South Australia.
"This is an opportunity for all farmers, especially those with access to good irrigation, to put their hand up and flag their interest in the poppy industry", said Mr Ridgway.
"It’s been widely reported that the world demand for opiates is continuing to increase.
"South Australian farmers now have an opportunity to register their interest and be a part of this burgeoning industry.
"I would also like to congratulate and thank PIRSA for acting on my Bill as swiftly as they have, this means we could see poppies being cultivated in South Australia as soon as next year."
The formal license application process top cultivate opium poppies will be available in mid-2016 with the first South Australian crops expected to be grown during the 2017 season.
A copy of the Expression of Interest can be accessed via; http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/primary_industry/opium_poppy_in_sa