When one hears news happening in Columbia, the first guess of the subject is “drugs.” However, this time, the news is overwhelmingly positive, albeit slightly dreamy.
The United Nations has multiple suggestive governing committees to develop and encourage countries to be their “better selves.” A few days ago, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released a statement from the head of the committee saying that:
“This historic agreement is a unique opportunity to turn the tide against Colombia’s coca cultivation and help farmers embrace alternative development.
-The pursuit of peace requires tangible solutions to the crimes that fuel and feed conflict.”
This $300m “deal” encourages current Coca farmers to switch to safer crops with monetary compensation and incentive. Currently, Coca farmers earn about $300USD per hectare of Coca. The UN has suggested that since these farmers are likely scared of economic backlash to switch to a safer crop, it would be in the country’s best interest to offer a monetary incentive to diffuse the ill effects of ceasing production.
However, things are not always as easy as they seem. The UN is incredibly well-meaning, but there are domestic affairs that will make it quite difficult for Coca farmers to up and stop production quickly. Cartel ties, ties to radical factions, and international trade are three factors not mentioned in the BBC article that I believe would be important to look into.