The interior and justice minister has announced that coca production in 2010 fell by 12% and areas used for the cultivation of coca dropped by 13%, El Espectador reported Thursday.
Minister German Vargas Lleras noted that there still remain some 146,000 acres of Colombian soil being used for the cultivation of coca but that the UN recognizes Colombia’s role at the forefront of the battle against drug-trafficking and coca cultivation.
Colombia’s national parks are the location of 8%, around 11,663 acres, of illicit coca cultivation. Vargas Lleras stressed the importance of manual eradication methods in these cases, as aerial fumigation is not permitted in national parks.
The minister also said that the fight against coca cultivation will continue to focus on tackling the drug-trafficking chain head on, as well as developing alternatives for coca cultivating families through social programs.
The departments that saw the greatest falls in coca production were Nariño, Cauca and Guaviare. In 2009, Nariño had the greatest production of the country while increases were registered in Cauca and Guaviare.