Peru Dedicates More Land to Coca Farming

By Lunar Loops · Jun 14, 2007 ·
  1. Lunar Loops
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    Peru Dedicates More Land to Coca Farming

    (06-14) 02:29 PDT LIMA, Peru (AP) --
    The amount of land dedicated to cultivating coca, the raw material in cocaine, increased 7 percent last year in Peru, the world's second biggest producer of the crop, the United Nations said Wednesday.

    The area under cultivation rose to 128,500 acres last year from 120,000 acres in 2005, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said in an annual report released in Lima.

    The 2005 figure was a drop from 2004, when 125,750 were cultivated, the U.N. said.

    Peru is the world's second largest producer of coca after Colombia, representing 33 percent of the total production.

    The report estimated that the 2006 coca crop represented a potential cocaine production of 310 tons, an 8 percent increase over 2005.

    The report said coca growers had increased productivity in their fields, planting many more coca bushes per acre than before. Drug traffickers also improved the process of turning coca leaf into cocaine, requiring less coca to obtain the same amount of cocaine, it said.

    The U.N. said these factors led to a 14 percent drop in the price of coca leaf — to $2.50 a kilogram from $2.90.

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