Colombia’s coca cultivations dropped by 18% in 2008 while cocaine production dropped 28%, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board said in a new report.
The total number of hectares in Colombia dedicated to coca dropped from 99,000 hectares in 2007 to 81,000 in 2008, the report said. However, coca production has increased in Peru and Bolivia by 36% and 13% respectively, even though overall coca production in South America decreased by 15%, the report found.
The U.S. Embassy in Bogota has previously said that coca cultivations in Colombia dropped by 29% in 2008. This was the first drop in coca cultivation levels since 2002, and the lowest U.S. government estimate for coca production since 2004. The embassy cited increased manual eradication efforts as one of the reasons for the decline. 95,731 hectares of coca were manually eradicated in 2008, the U.S. government says, in contrast to 66,805 hectares in 2007.
According to the Colombian Ministry of Defense, 14,458 hectares of coca were destroyed in January 2010, compared with 5,869 hectares destroyed last year.
The UN will not release data on 2009 coca cultivation levels until June 2010.
Colombia is the number one producer of cocaine in the world, followed by Peru and Bolivia.