Colombia Kicks off Voluntary Illegal Crop Substitution Program; Goal is Replacing 125,000 Acres (E)
The Colombian government, the FARC and rural communities have kicked off a program for producers to voluntarily transition from growing illicit crops to legal ones, marking an important step in the implementation of the historic peace agreement reached between the two sides of the more than 50-year-old conflict last year.
About 453 families from 25 zones close to the municipality of La Montañita, in the southern department of Caqueta, began the process to replace about 213 hectares of illicit crops.
The replacement program will run during its first year in 40 municipalities across the country, where currently more than 50 percent of Colombia’s cocaine is produced, according to the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.
The Colombian government hopes to voluntarily replace 50,000 hectares of illicit crops this year.
“These substitution processes begin the transformation of the regions. Agreements for voluntary substitution allow us to take the first step in strengthening institutional presence,” said Eduardo Diaz Uribe, director for Comprehensive Care on the Fight Against Drugs. Telesur