Opium and Alkaloid Works

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The Opium and Alkaloid Works (OAW) is an Indian government-owned company located in the city of Ghazipur and the town Neemuch.[1]


The enterprise's two factories specialize in the production of opium and the extraction of related alkaloids (such as Codeine phosphates, Morphine salts, Dionine, Morphine Hydrochloride, Thebaine,[2] and more). It is the country's largest producer of opium-related products.[1]


Ghazipur factory[edit]

The Ghazipur factory began life as the Benaras Opium Agency,[3] an entity of the East India Company, in 1820. The opium processed at Ghazipur was sent to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) for auction, then shipped to the south China coast and smuggled into the country via the port of Canton (now known as Guangzhou). In 1945, the factory began extracting alkaloids in addition to processing opium.[1] The Ghazipur opium factory is mentioned in the novel "Sea of Poppies" by Amitav Ghosh.

Neemuch factory[edit]

The Neemuch factory was founded in 1933. In 1976, it began extracting alkaloids in addition to processing opium.[1]


After 1976, the Chief Controller of Factories, currently Shri Ajesh Kumar IRS,[3] replaced the Narcotics Commissioner of India as head of the OAW.[1]


The enterprise employs 1,432 people.[1]


Security is managed by members of the Central Industrial Security Force, with 123 assigned to the Ghazipur factory and 104 to Neemuch.[1]

See also[edit]