Coca bush cultivation increases in Peru - coca monitoring survey for 2011

Photo: UNODC27 September 2012 - The cultivation of coca bush, which provides the raw material for cocaine, has increased by approximately 5.2 per cent in Peru [1], according to the national coca monitoring survey for 2011 presented today by UNODC and the Government of Peru. A new methodology has been applied to calculate the area under cultivation since 31 December 2011, producing a lower estimate at 62,500 hectares (ha) [2].

UNODC Representative in Peru Flavio Mirella, whose office has been producing the annual survey jointly with the Government of Peru since 1999, commended the constructive and cooperative spirit with which the Government of Peru had worked with UNODC.

In 2011, Government-led eradication of coca bush crops fell 14.5 per cent to 10,290 ha, down from 12,033 ha in 2010.  The total coca leaf output stood at around 131,300 tons of sun-dried coca leaf, up 4.3 per cent from the previous year. An estimated 9,000 tons of coca leaf is estimated to be used for traditional purposes, leaving 122,300 tons for the illegal markets.

About 50 per cent of coca bush crops in Peru were cultivated in the Ene and Apurimac Valley and Alto Huallaga, the country's largest coca-producing regions, where cultivation saw a slight increase of 1 per cent.  Given the overall increase in cultivation, this low rate can be explained by the extensive eradication efforts conducted in Alto Huallaga (59.1 per cent of total eradication in 2011).  However, cultivation was up by 40.4 per cent in northern Peru (Marañon, Putumayo and Bajo Amazonas), where no eradication campaigns were conducted.

Farm-gate prices of coca leaf in 2011 reached average values of $3.3 per kilogram, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to prices in 2010 ($3.1 per kg).  The lowest prices ($2.8 per kg) were registered in the Apurímac-Ene and Mantaro River Valley regions. The low prices there are probably due to a seasonal over-supply of the crop in a region where yields are exceeding the national level.

In coca-cultivating zones, cocaine fetched wholesale prices of $1,025 per kg, an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to the previous year ($947 per kg). In the capital, Lima, the wholesale price of cocaine increased by 50 per cent, but across the northern, eastern and southern borders of Peru prices rose by over 300 per cent.


[1]64,400 ha were detected in satellite images, representing an increase of 5.2 per cent compared to the estimated 61,200 ha cultivated in 2010.

[2] This figure takes into account crop eradication that took place between the time at which the satellite image survey was carried out in the second half of 2011 and the end of the same year. The figure is similar to that for the area under coca cultivation in other countries in the region, but cannot be applied to calculate trends in Peru from 2010 to 2011 owing to a lack of detailed information.

Related information:

Full report: Perú Monitoreo de Cultivos de Coca 2011, Septiembre 2012 (pdf)

UNODC in Peru and Ecuador