Maharashtra farmer seeks permission to cultivate ganja on his farm

Pune: A farmer from Solapur in Maharashtra has approached the district administration seeking permission to grow ganja (cannabis) plants on his farm, saying the contraband fetches a good rate in market and claimed there is no fixed price for any agricultural produce.

However, the district administration forwarded the farmer's application to police, who termed it as a "publicity stunt".

The cultivation of cannabis, also known as marijuana, is prohibited under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Anil Patil, the farmer from Mohol tehsil in Solapur, in his application sent to Solapur district collector on Wednesday, said there was no fixed price (MSP) for any crop and hence, the agriculture business was running into losses.

"As agriculture produce fetches a pittance, farming is turning out to be difficult. Even the input cost of cultivation of any crop is not recovered. The dues of sugarcane sold to sugar factories are unpaid," he said in the plea.

Claiming that there was a good price for ganja in the market, Patil sought permission to cultivate it on his two acre land.

He also asked the district administration to give him permission by September 15 to grow ganja plants on his farmland, failing which he would start the cultivation from September 16, presuming that he has been given the nod for it.

"If any offence is registered against me for ganja cultivation, the administration will be responsible," he said in the application.

However, Mohol police station's senior inspector Ashok Saykar said the farmer's application was just a "publicity stunt".

"If he resorts to such an act (cultivating ganja), we will register an offence against him," he said.


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