Peru Will Dedicate 25.5 Million Dollars to Alternative Crops in 2012
By Dialogo August 30, 2011
The Peruvian Government has approved spending 70 million soles (about 25.5 million dollars) on alternative crop programs in 2012, as part of the fight against drug trafficking, Prime Minister Salomón Lerner Ghitis announced on August 27.
“The amount (25.5 million dollars) is part of the more than 120 million soles (43.8 million dollars) assigned to the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida) for 2012, aside from what it may receive from international cooperation,” Lerner Ghitis indicated to the broadcaster RPP.
One of the administration’s objectives is that more farmers refrain from planting coca next year and instead join alternative crop programs, for which purpose they will be given support with the commercialization of their products.
The country’s largest coca-growing areas are Monzon, Huallaga, and the valleys of the Apurimac and Ene rivers.
The prime minister affirmed that the administration “is determined to combat drug trafficking, but in an effective way, and for that reason, it’s necessary to review a methodology that has not had the success that was hoped for.”
Lerner Ghitis indicated that a cadastral survey is proposed for next year, with the objective of learning exactly where the production destined for manufacturing drugs comes from.
“This is going to be a very important weapon for knowing what it is that is brought in and how these elements are used for producing cocaine in the laboratories,” he added.
On August 23, the administration restarted coca eradication programs in the central jungle that had been suspended for a week for the purpose of evaluating and reorienting the anti-drug fight.
The suspension sparked questions and criticism in some sectors and among analysts, who indicated that the suspension would encourage increased cultivation of the plant.
According to the Government, 4,000 hectares planted with coca have been eradicated so far, and another 6,000 remain to be eliminated in order to meet the goal of 10,000 hectares set for 2011.