Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is the third-largest coca bush grower in the world. In 2010, the area under coca bush cultivation was estimated at 31,000 hectares, concentrated mainly in the Yungas and Chapare areas. Currently, the country's overall cultivation remains well below the levels reached in the early and mid-1990s, though has increased compared to the levels in the late 1990s.

UNODC and the Bolivian Government collaborate in alternative development programmes, focusing income generation and environmental protection activities that tackle poverty. Since the early 1980s, UNODC has been supporting grass-roots alternative development projects to help farmers develop licit farming alternatives to coca bush cultivation in the Cochabamba Tropics and the Yungas of La Paz.

Agroforestry and forest management

Between 1997 and 2005, UNODC and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations developed, through the Jatun Sach'a project, forest management and agroforestry systems that benefited over 10,000 households. In 2006, building on the achievements and experiences of the Jatun Sach'a project, a new four-year phase of the agroforestry programme was launched, for the benefit of 4,500 families. These projects enable farmers to earn a decent income through products such as cacao, coffee, camu-camu (a tropical plant) and rubber. Produced in environmentally friendly conditions, these products are commercially viable and are sold at competitive prices abroad. Through this project, small farmers have been able to meet stringent international quality and production standards and as a result, the project-supported coffee is now among the best coffee produced in the country.

Vocational training and support for small businesses

Since 2001, UNODC, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, has supported vocational training for young people with the aim of increasing their employment prospects. To date, over 1,000 vocational training courses ranging from agriculture to computer science and business administration have benefited 23,000 young people. The project has also supported the establishment of 90 new micro-enterprises and has strengthened 122 existing ones, employing over 2,000 individuals. The project focused on gender equality, ensuring that 49 per cent of trainees and 46 per cent of participants in the micro-enterprise support programme were women.

Alternative development projects in the Plurinational State of Bolivia