We want to set up a dialogue with the organizations of peasants who cultivate coca and present to them the the options offered by the government. Money has been allocated for projects to will replace these crops. Our plan is to make available food assistance resources linked to employment for one year. There are 50,000 places available for those who decide to become part of the project. After the process, we will seek to work for two years with alternative programs that will replace the production of coca crops. We hope to establish a real dialogue around this issue and to develop new cultural projects to benefit the peasantry. Arcadia
But forced eradication is not as viable as it seems. According to Pardo, fumigating one hectare of coca costs about 20 million pesos. The problem is that "for a hectare to stop producing it must be fumigated four or five times. We are facing a program (voluntary substitution) that is much more cost effective because it also ensures the transformation of territory and a new life for people who have been thrown into coca cultivation today," said the high commissioner. The idea, after all, is to find a definitive solution. For that reason, rather than forced eradication, a voluntary substitution will be sought so that the affected territories become a source of potential for the nation's economy." Pacifista
Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine and the nation with the highest number of acreage dedicated to coca crops. In, Briceño, Antioquia where a joint FARC-Government crop substitution plan has been implemented, there are an estimated 1,500 hectares of illicit crops, feeding some 2,000 families. Peasants in these areas rust the guerrillas, who buy coca and play the role of authority.
Reducing these numbers would reshape the nation's international image and help taper drug trafficking, a generator of violence and public health problems. Residents expect the government to comply with the pilot plan, so that FARC leave the business.Projekte.jonamag.de
"The goal is to replace approximately 50,000 hectares of illicit crops during the first year of implementation in more than 40 municipalities in the most affected departments," the government and the rebels said in a joint statement. VOA