Illicit crop cultivation of opium poppy and coca

Although levels of opium poppy and coca bush cultivation have been contained in the last decade, much remains to be done. In 2010, the global area under opium poppy cultivation, which is mostly grown in Central and South East Asia, increased by 5 % per cent to 195,700 ha in comparison to 2009 (World Drug Report 2011). In the Andean region, where coca bush is cultivated, the total area under illicit crop cultivation decreased by 6 per cent in 2010 due to a significant reduction in Colombia (15 per cent). The application of alternative development projects in these key regions will contribute to maintaining successful results in the fight against illicit crop cultivation. [ Latest UNODC data on illicit crops]

Opium poppy cultivation, 2005-2010

Since 2003, Afghanistan has been the main opium poppy grower in the world and accounted for the bulk of cultivation, around 63 % of the global cultivation in 2010. Afghan cultivation levels have increased by 21 % in the period 2005 - 2010 and have reached 131,000 ha in 2011 according to the recent opium survey for Afghanistan. At the same time, Myanmar and Mexico, the second and third largest growers of the world, also reported increasing levels of cultivation. In 2006, opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar was 21,500 ha; the lowest since 1996. Since then, it has been steadily increasing. Levels of opium poppy cultivation in Mexico also appear to have been steadily increasing over the 2005- 2009 period, amounting to 19,500 ha in 2009 (latest data available). The Lao People's Democratic Republic also reported increasing levels and amounted for about 3,000 ha. Overall, global opium poppy cultivation has increased by some 40% in the 2005 - 2010 period, which illustrates the urgency to provide alternatives to provide small poppy farmers with legal alternatives.

Coca bush cultivation, 1999-2010

Most of the world's coca bush is cultivated in the Andean countries of Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Colombia and Peru. Compared to the 220,600 ha cultivated in 1999, a 32 per cent decline has been achieved in 2010, when 149,100 hectares were cultivated. In 2010, Colombia and Peru accounted for almost the same share of coca cultivation, amounting for 42 and 41 per cent of global coca leaf cultivation respectively. Bolivia accounted for around 21 per cent. Whereas cultivation levels from 1999 to 2010 dropped significantly in Colombia, opposite trends were reported by Peru and Bolivia, where coca cultivation increased significantly during the same period.