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02-01-10, 11:42 AM #1
From Coca to Cacao in Peru: Farmers switch from cocaine to chocolate
San Martin has a wilder reputation from its recent past: for years it was a bastion for the rebels of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and the much more violent Maoist fighters of the Shining Path. Hand-in-hand with subversion came drug-trafficking, with the surrounding countryside perfect terrain for coca, from which cocaine is processed. (See pictures of what the world eats.)
While the two subversive groups have been defeated, San Martin still has some coca — around 800 acres (374 hectares) according to the latest U.N. survey on coca crops — but that is minuscule compared to what it used to cultivate. Coffee and cacao (chocolate) farms have taken hold instead. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) talks about a "San Martin model" as a success story for replacing coca with legal crops. Chocolate is leading the way.
"We are working to identify Peru with chocolate, the way Colombia is identified with coffee. We have the world's best beans," says Blanca Panizo, who works for the Alternative Development Program, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-backed initiative promoting crops to replace coca.
Read more: Chocolate to Cocaine: Farmers in Peru Change Crops - TIME
02-01-10, 08:39 PM #2
Now that is a real success story....and good for everybody involved.
Car 4I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!
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