UN Under-Secretary-General Praises the Promotion of Alternative Crops in Colombia
By Dialogo September 30, 2011
UN Under-Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov praised the development of alternative crops in Colombia, during an official visit to that country.
“Colombia’s primary objective is drug control, and alternative development plays a very important role,” Fedotov told reporters in Bogota, after visiting rubber crops in Antioquia, in the nation’s northwest, that have replaced coca plantings.
Fedotov maintained that those programs, coordinated by the Office of the Colombian President’s High Counselor for Social Action, could be applied “in other parts of the world, not only in neighboring countries like Peru, but also in Afghanistan.”
Together with the Office of the Counselor for Social Action, UNODC is implementing a program to replace drug crops with plantings of coffee, cacao and chocolate, hearts of palm, and rubber.
This program supports 153,000 rural workers who previously dedicated themselves to planting coca and has generated more than 28,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Last year, Colombia achieved a significant decrease in areas planted with coca, which went from 68,000 to 57,000 hectares.
Fedotov, who arrived in the South American country on September 24, also met with President Juan Manuel Santos, with whom he spoke about collaboration in the fight against drugs, organized crime, corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing.