Over the past 30 years, UNODC has played a leading role in assisting Member States in developing and implementing drug control policy. Alternative development is a fundamental pillar of a comprehensive drug control strategy and continues to be the principal method utilized by Members States and UNODC to address illicit drug crop cultivation.

UNODC's alternative development programmes centre on helping small farmers with licit income generation activities to reduce their dependency on income from opium and coca cultivation. Efforts are also focused on health, education, basic infrastructure, community development and food security. Special attention is given to environmental protection and improved markets for alternative development products. UNODC-supported alternative development also empowers communities while ensuring that both men and women equally benefit from development interventions.


Ms. Sy Chan Vakongxiong is 44 years old, has five children and belongs to the ethnic group of the Hmong. She lives in Naseankham village, located in Xay district, Oudomxay province ... more


In Peru's former coca-growing areas, drug traffickers were highly influential in the 1980s and 1990s. The local population had no other means of earning a living except by growing coca, the ... more


Farmers cultivating illicit drug crops are usually among the most marginalized in society. Providing alternatives for them has been a major challenge for drug control efforts in South ... more