The almost 14% reduction of land under coca cultivation in 2014 is cause of world-wide recognition to the efforts made by the Government to diminish illegal coca leaf crops, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso stated.
“It is a world-wide recognition to the efforts of the Government, which has reduced the amount of land used to grow coca leaves by more than 20,000 hectares, and has reduced the production of drugs,” he noted.
The President said this reduction is the result of the sustained interdiction policy of controllable chemical inputs.
“Since today, Peru is not the first producer of coca for drug trafficking anymore, respecting the cultivation for traditional consumption. Peru is not the biggest producer of drugs anymore,” the President emphasized.
It is an important step, he said, and as the United Nations has highlighted, this must be disseminated across the country.
Humala Tasso recalled that this year’s target is to eradicate 35,000 hectares of illegal coca leaf, and assured the Government’s historical average when he took office was 10,000 hectares. He said 32,000 hectares and more than 23,000 hectares were eradicated in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
This is the first time in the history of Peru that the growing trend of production of coca leaf cultivation for drug trafficking has been broken down,” he affirmed.
He said the voluntary crop substitution program aimed at replacing coca leaf cultivation by other legal crops is succeeding in the VRAEM area (Valley formed by the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers).
“We have allocated funds to substitute 1,300 hectares of coca leaf cultivation devoted to drug trafficking by crops of pineapple, coffee and cocoa, seeking markets for growers to reach high profitability levels,” he said.
The Peruvian leader explained that growers receive support through Agrobanco bank during the whole process of cultivation, from seeds, sowing and maturation of products. “We don’t abandon them,” he stated.
Statements were made after opening the Machupichu-Abancay-Cotaruse transmission line and associated substations in the Apurimac region.