In 2011, 64,000 hectares were used for coca cultivation, compared to 62,000 in 2011, the U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report stated.
The cultivation of coca in Colombia per hectare
Before last year’s increase, Colombia’s coca cultivation had been stagnating since 2007. Coca is the raw product used to produce cocaine.
63% of the coca cultivation was concentrated in the departments of Nariño, Putumayo, Guaviare y Cauca, all of which are considered to be hotbeds of left-wing guerrilla, criminal and neo-paramilitary activity.
The report also highlighted increases in the Catatumbo region in the north of the country and in Choco, Colombia’s westernmost department.
The northern Antioquia and Cordoba departments registered the most substantial decreases. Both these departments have seen legal and illegal gold mining increasingly replace coca in the past few years.
Only 9 out of 32 Colombian departments were considered “free from coca cultivation,” the report said.
Coca cultivation accounted for $420 million, or 3% of the total income generated by Colombia’s agricultural sector in 2011.