The Colombian government gave $565,000 to an Awa indigenous community to encourage the cultivation of cocoa, said local media Monday.
The funds were awarded to the central Colombian town of Ricaurte and its surrounding Awa communities.
The action is part of a general effort by the Colombian government to encourage farmers to choose alternative crops to the highly lucrative coca plant – the base ingredient in cocaine production.
Last week a group of more than 2,000 cocoa farmers marched in Bogota to protest falling prices and demand government intervention.
National Cocoa Board leader Omar Acevedo told Colombian newspaper Semana, “We’re not apologizing for coca farming, but people won’t let themselves starve to death.”
The Awa people have been frequent victims of violence surrounding coca cultivation and the drug trade.