Peru Sees Expansion in Alternative Crops to Coca – UN

Crops planted to replace illicit coca cultivation in Peru brought in $131 million in 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said Wednesday.

The UN said the revenue from alternative crops has been increasing steadily since 2000, state news agency Andina reported.

Alternative crops include cacao, coffee, and palm oil, among others. Promoting alternative crops is a key strategy in Peru’s policies to curb cocaine production as it provides farmers with an economic alternative to growing coca.

The UN said that 14 business associations have emerged from ex-coca growers, representing some 26,000 families in the country.

The main markets for the alternative crops are Germany, the United States, Belgium, as well as England, Holland, Italy, Canada and Sweden.

Peru is one of the world’s top coca producers. The leaf is the base for making cocaine.

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