UNODC: Peru's Coca crop reduction leads to new opportunities for farmers

In Peru, the 14% of coca crop reduction will take away spaces from drug-traffickers and lead to creating more opportunities for farmers, who grow alternative products, the United Nations Office Crime and Drugs (UNODC) Representative in Peru Flavio Mirella announced. 

He considered “positive” a monitoring report by the organization, which results shows that Peru has seen a 30% cumulative reduction of the total area of coca plantations for third consecutive year.

This is due to the fact that the land used for coca leaf crops was reduced in size from 62,500 to 60,400 hectares between 2011 and 2012; to 49,800 hectares in 2012-2013; and to 42,900 hectares in 2013-2014.

Such results represent an improvement if compared to the numbers recorded in the 2005-2011 period, time through which the coca growing area reached an expansion peak of 62,500 hectares; however, since 2012, sustained reduction has been achieved through 2014.

“What is most important is that the report shows there is sustainability in the results, which has been remarked since 2012, and leads to a net reduction by 30%. The space is not only reduced, but also replaced,”Mirella told.

According to the UNOCD representative alternative crops -such as those of cocoa, coffee and pineapple- lead to providing more opportunities to farmers, so those integrate into the economic and productive chain in the country by conducting legal activities. 

Although, there is still much work to be done, he indicated the model allows generating trust due to the good results obtained in recent years, which have set the guidelines the next administrations will have to continue to follow, he added