The transition from coca leaf fields into coffee (or alternative crops) is proving to be harder than imagined. With the aim of eliminating cocaine production in the country, the Peruvian Government is seeking to convert coca fields into alternative crops.
These coca fields, however, have been produced in the region for generations and provide families with their incomes. Therefore, converting the fields is presenting itself as a difficult task, when alternative crops are less efficient for them to produce.
To help the cause, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation donated 150,000 coffee saplings to the Queshapari, Marontuari Ashaninka, and Cashiroveni communities in the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM).
These communities lie in the Pichari and the Kimbiri districts, respectively, and are currently undergoing a transition of great significance. To provide assistance in the process, Minagri will be providing technical assistance throughout the next three years in collaboration with the Agricultural Experiment Station (EEA) known as “La Perla del VRAEM.”
EEA Director, Alfonso Reynaga told Andina news agency that the saplings were donated to the farmers after their crops were affected by the stripe rust and are part of the conversion process being carried out by Minagri.
Growing coffee is a “big challenge,” said Marontuari community leader Julio Mendoza, according to Andina.