Coca crop cultivation declines in Bolivia, according to UNODC Report

UNODC Bolivia Coca Monitoring Survey for 2012 has been released.

Overall, the new report claims that the cultivation of the coca bush has declined for the second year in a row. The report states that in 2011 there were 27,200 hectares under cultivation; however in 2012 this number had declined to 25,300 hectares. This is a decrease of just under 7%.

The report states that the decrease in coca leaf cultivation has occurred due to the use of both eradication efforts by the Bolivian government, as well as alternative development efforts to speak to local farmers and give ‘social incentives’. In 2011, 10,500 hectares were eradicated; this has increased to 11,000 in 2012.

In order to note how many hectares were cultivating coca, satellite images and ground surveys were used in three different areas. Yungas de La Paz, Cochabamba Tropics and La Paz. Each of which witnessed a decrease in hectare size.

Along with this, seizures of coca leaf rose 23%, from 600mt in 2011 to 740mt in 2012. Cocaine base seizures also went up from 28mt to 32mt; a rise of 13%. Cocaine hydrochloride seizures however dropped from 5.6mt in 2011 to 4.1mt in 2012; around 26%.

The volume of coca leaf being traded within authorized markets, such as Villa fátima and Sacaba weighed 18,400mt. this is equivalent to 41% of the total coca leaf yield. Leaving 59% unaccounted for legally.

From this analysis reported by UNODC, we are able to make the conclusion that coca cultivation has dropped for two years in a row. However there is still a thriving illicit coca leaf market in the country. This is however, being addressed by the Bolivian Government.

The report can be found here.