NEW YORK, June 27 (UPI) -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has reported a steep decline in coca, the key ingredient of cocaine, grown in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.
The annual U.N. report stated that Bolivia has decreased its coca leaf cultivation by 9 percent between 2012 and 2013, the lowest level of production since 2002.
Antonio De Leo, UNODC's chief in Bolivia, attributes the decline to "a mix of eradication and dialogue to have farmers participate in reducing coca leaf growing."
Available data also indicates a decline in Colombia's coca crop cultivation. Bo Mathiasen, UNODC's chief in Colombia, says the country "has come a long way" and has "reduced the area a lot in 12 years." Between 2011 and 2012, acres planted with coca leaf fell by 25 percent.
Mathiasen noted that the Colombian government plans to expand its crop substitution initiative.
In Peru, coca production has declined even more, down from 17.5 percent in the last year.
President Ollanta Huma led an initiative to pay workers to remove coca plants and provide government assistance to farmers to switch to legal crops.
The U.N.'s 2014 World Drug Report concluded that "Global cocaine availability dropped between 2007 and 2012 due to declining production."