Coca Crops and Cocaine Production Reduced in Colombia

By Dialogo
August 12, 2013

Sown coca fields in Colombia were reduced from 64,000 hectares to 48,000 hectares in 2011 and 2012 respectively, a 25 percent reduction, and cocaine production also dropped from 345 to 309 tons, according to the U.N. Office against Drugs.

Although coca crops were maintained in 23 out of 32 departments of the Andean country last year, they were reduced in 17 of them, increased in three and remained stable in another three, according to the U.N. report presented in Bogota, on August 8.

The departments where coca crops were increased are Norte de Santander (northeast), Caquetá and Chocó (southeast).

Colombia has been reducing its coca farming areas for over ten years, from 140,000 hectares in 2001, to 100,000 in 2007; 62,000 in 2010; and 48,000 in 2012.

Leonardo Correa, technical coordinator for the study, said, “not only was the sowed coca area reduced, but the crop productivity is also declining. The fields are producing less coca leaves.”

However, the expert added, “replanting is still a concern.”

According to the joint report between the U.N. and Colombia’s government, there was a yield of between 240 and 377 tons of one hundred percent pure cocaine, but since the actual number is uncertain, “the figure for 2012 should be estimated at 309 tons.”