LIMA – Peru had reduced the extent of coca leaf cultivation on its territory by 13.9 percent last year to 42,900 hectares (107,250 acres), according to the Coca Cultivation Survey released Wednesday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
After reaching a peak of 62,500 hectares (about 156,250 acres) in 2011, the Peruvian government’s strategy – starting in 2012 – has focused on reducing the amount of land under coca cultivation by increasing the annual eradication goals, destroying 31,205 hectares (78,000 acres) of coca leaf last year, according to the report presented by the UNODC representative for Peru and Ecuador, Flavio Mirella.
The areas with the most coca cultivation are the valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers, with 18,845 hectares (47,100 acres), and La Convencion and Lares in the Cuzco region, with 10,342 hectares (25,900 acres).
Eradication of coca leaf was increased by 31 percent last year over the previous year and seizure of cocaine rose by 40 percent in 2014 to 18.6 tons.
In all, the Peruvian supply of dry coca in 2014 was calculated to be 100,840 tons, of which 9,000 tons correspond to traditional legal consumption and the rest to illegal drug trafficking.
The head of Peru’s Devida anti-drug agency, Alberto Otarola, said that this is the “most successful year for the drastic reduction of coca-growing territory” due to the consolidation of the Peruvian model, which is based on public policies to give greater incentive to farmers to grow legal crops.