Monday, August 15, 2005

Colombia - Uribe Wants To Buy Coca Crop?

In an interesting twist on Coca erradication. Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, is proposing that the government directly buy the farmers' Coca crop, according to this Christian SArticlcience Monitor Article.

Naysayers contend that the government simply doesn't have the budget for such a proposal. One kilogram of cocaine base, according to the UN, went for $807 in 2004. With 80,000 hectares of coca plants in 2004, the program could potentially cost more than $64 million.

I am wondering how much the annual crop in El Chapare in Bolivia is worth, IIRC it was something like 11k hecares.

Maybe the U.S. should buy it, and I am being serious too. There obviously is a big demand for illegal growing, and the bottom line is you have many thousand farmers in the Chapare region who make a living off the crop, and won't quit anytime soon. Paying "market rate" for their entire crop might be a good way to get it off the market. And that would eliminate any excuse the Cocalero Unions have to make trouble in the country.