The cultivation of coca bushes, which provide the raw material for cocaine, is up some 5.2 per cent in Peru, according to the 2011 national coca monitoring survey presented today by UNODC and the Peruvian Government. A new methodology was applied to calculate the area under cultivation as of 31 December 2011, producing a lower estimate at 62,500 ha.
Flavio Mirella, UNODC Representative in Peru, whose office has been jointly producing the annual survey with the Peruvian Government since 1999, commended the constructive and cooperative spirit with which the Government of Peru had worked together with UNODC.
In 2011, Government-led eradication of coca crop fell 14.5 per cent to 10,290 ha down from 12,033 ha in 2010. The total coca leaf output stood at around 131,300 tons of sun-dried coca leaf, up 4.3 per cent from the previous year. An estimated 9,000 tons of coca leaf is estimated to be used for traditional purposes, leaving 122,300 tons for the illegal markets.
About 50 per cent of Peru's coca crop came from the Ene and Apurimac Valley and Alto Huallaga, the country's largest coca-producing regions, where cultivation saw a slight increase of 1 per cent. Given the overall increase in cultivation, this low rate can be explained by the extensive eradication efforts conducted in Alto Huallaga (59.1 per cent of total eradication in 2011). However, cultivation was up by 40.4 per cent in northern Peru (Marañon, Putumayo, Bajo Amazonas), where no eradication campaigns were conducted.
Farm-gate prices of coca leaf in 2011 reached average values of $3.3 per kg, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to prices in 2010( $3.1 per kg). The lowest prices ($2.8 per kg) were registered in the Apurímac-Ene and Mantaro River Valley region. The low prices there are probably due to a seasonal over-supply of the crop in a region where yields are exceeding the national level.
In coca-cultivating zones, cocaine fetched wholesale prices of $1,025 per kg, an 8.2 per cent increase over the previous year ($947 per kg). In the capital, Lima, the wholesale price of cocaine increased by 50 per cent, but across the northern, eastern and southern borders of Peru, prices rose by over 300 per cent.
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