Opium-addicted parrots wreak havoc on Indian farmers’ crops
5 Mar, 2019
.. by Tom Barnes
Farmers in India are complaining that parrots seemingly addicted to opium are destroying their poppy crops.
Tiny parakeets, which appear to have become hooked on the powerful narcotic, have been spotted raiding fields in Madhya Pradesh dozens of time every day.
Crop destruction by birds has exacerbated problems with low rainfall, which is already reducing the yields of legal opium producers in the state.
Nandkishore, an opium grower in Madhya Pradesh, said his pleas for authorities to take action had fallen on deaf ears.
He told NDTV that producers in the area had resorted to a number of unconventional methods in an attempt to drive the birds away, including firecrackers and loud speakers, all to no avail.
“We are already suffering because of uneven rain, and now this. Nobody is listening to our problems. Who will compensate for our losses?”
“We have tried making loud sounds and even use firecrackers to scare the birds. But nothing has helped.”
The legal cultivation of opium for medicinal purposes is carried out in several regions of India under special licences.
This regulated industry makes India the largest producer of legal opium in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook.