How the seeds of weed were sown

Traders from Tamil Nadu and Kerala lured the tribals of Vizag into ganja cultivation with clever devices like farm technology, leases, advance purchases, etc

Until 20 years ago, ganja cultivation was not heard of in the Agency villages of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. With a heritage of podu cultivation, tribal farmers in the some of the more remote villages scratched about on the hill slopes to raise millets and coarse cereals and teetered on the edge of food security. Ganja cultivation as an alternative to conventional cropping was practised in the Lambada tandas of Warangal and Nalgonda districts in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.

But then, around 2004, the Maoists retreated from Andhra Pradesh into denser foliage in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, leaving the Agency villages in Visakhapatnam in a power vacuum for a few years. Into this twilight zone stepped traders from Tamil Nadu, mainly from...

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