HomeNewsBriefBolivia Coffee Production Declines, Coca Cultivation Goes Up
BRIEF

Bolivia Coffee Production Declines, Coca Cultivation Goes Up

BOLIVIA / 10 MAY 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Coffee producers in Bolivia are abandoning coffee to cultivate coca, says the head of the country's coffee federation, illustrating the appeal of a crop that is less susceptible to wide price fluctuations on global commodity markets.

According to Susana Lima, Secretary General of the Federation of Bolivia's Export Coffee Growers (Fecafeb), Bolivia is now exporting 70,000 bags of coffee per year compared to 110,000 in 2005, and this number is continuing to decline. Lima said that growing coffee has become less profitable as a result of the aging of coffee plantations and a lack of government incentives. As coffee profits decline, coffee producers are turning to coca crops as an alternative, she added.

A 2012 study reported the same phenomenon among food producers in the municipality of Yanacachi, who were turning away from traditional farming in favor of coca crop monoculture and gold mining.

Meanwhile there are indications the commercialization of coca for legal uses, encouraged by Bolivian President Evo Morales, is faltering. Following the closure of two coca production plants financed by Morales in the central Cochabamba province, the country's Vice-Minister of Coca, Dionisio Nuñez told news agencies, "Regrettably the public is not accustomed to products made from coca."

InSight Crime Analysis

As shown by the numerous failures in "crop substitution" programs, a major part of the appeal of coca cultivation is that coca is less susceptible to the wide fluctuations in global commodity prices that can decimate small farmers operating with fine profit margins.

Just last year, the number of Bolivian farmers switching from coca to coffee was being heralded as a major success, albeit a success dependent on global coffee prices, which have since crashed. It seems probable this decline in coffee profitability is fueling a renewal of coca cultivation.

Falling prices of traditional legal exports, such as cocoa, have also helped spur coca cultivation in Colombia, while sinking coffee prices have sparked social unrest.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 10 DEC 2020

Congress has released a sweeping report on drug policy in the Americas, laying out a long list of recommendations for…

BOLIVIA / 31 MAR 2022

A major antinarcotics operation at an aerodrome in Bolivia has drawn attention to the role of private air facilities in…

COCAINE / 21 JUN 2021

Misconceptions surrounding Mexico's drug trade have long been replicated in popular culture and public discourses.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…