ANF reports in El Deber:
Coca crops displaces citrus and coffee in Yungas
Los Yungas community members explained that the coffee, citrus and fruit, are generally more difficult to grow because there are a variety of fungi and insect pests affecting the production, so they opted for coca. [failed to say coca is far more profitable because it has an illegal market!]
The villagers of Los Yungas de la Paz abandoned gradually in recent years, the production of citrus and coffee crops, and became replaced with plantations of coca, due to the growing demand that has the ancient leaf in the country’s markets and the ease which involves planting and harvesting.
In a tour conducted by ANF on last March 27 and 28 to the Yungas, a group of community members in the town of San Juan reported that in recent years there were large plantations of citrus (orange, tangerine, grapefruit and lime, among others as well as coffee and banana plantations. Yet this production agriculture has been reduced because a large portion of these crops were replaced by coca. [and probably because of current central government’s policies, in the past UNDCP had an alternative development program, I remember visiting their facilities in La Asunta…]
Los Yungas community members explained that the coffee, citrus and fruit, are generally more difficult to grow because there are a variety of contingencies they face, such as fungi and insect pests affecting production. [failed to say that the coca growers exert tremendous pressure as they control most of the formal and informal authority channels; for example in Chapare those unions have the ownership of the land and thus expel or keep those farmers who follow their wishes…]
Added to this is that these products have lower demand in the domestic market compared to coca, ancient leaf which is very resistant to pests, climate change, tillage is easy and can be harvested every three months, leaving more economic returns to the coca growing families.
According to the 2013 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the average price of coca leaves in legal markets in the country is $7.4 per kilogram, which annually generates $332 million dollars equivalent to 13 percent of agricultural production in Bolivia. [and they DO NOT pay taxes, they do NOT have to look for markets, as drug lords go there and purchase directly… that is why the concept of alternative development made sense, with bilateral and multilateral funding… the way coca and its best derivative, cocaine are marketed, makes impossible to grow other crops without such aid]
Also, the UNODC reported that by 2012, Bolivia had 25,300 hectares of coca, more than double the 12,000 hectares allowed by Law 1008 for traditional and medicinal uses.
The ANF produced a video showing the testimonies of Yungas community members, now more intensively engaged in the production of coca.
Source : ANF
With the high-paying market that the cocaine offers, little can be done… and on top of that, anarchy rules like in Somalia and/or Afghanistan… we MUST end this and REBUILD our nation in the coming elections!!!