release from White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
- "2004 Coca and Opium Poppy Estimates for Colombia and the Andes,"
March 25, 2005
March 25, 2005
Contact: Rafael Lemaitre / Tom Riley
2004 Coca and Opium Poppy Estimates for Colombia and the Andes
D.C.) The U.S. Government has completed the 2004 annual estimate
of coca cultivation and potential cocaine production for Colombia,
as well as the opium poppy cultivation and potential heroin production
estimate. These estimates are produced with survey-sampling techniques
and satellite imagery, similar to techniques used to estimate
agricultural crops throughout the United States.
eradication efforts sprayed more than 130,000 hectares of coca
in Colombia last year, thwarting coca growers' efforts to expand
the crop. Despite a statistically unchanged area under coca cultivation
(114,000 hectares), potential production of cocaine continued
the decline of the last three years, falling 7 percent in 2004
to 430 metric tons of pure cocaine, down from 460 metric tons
for 2003 (and down dramatically from the peak of 700 metric tons
estimated for 2001). The decline in potential production resulted
from an increased percentage of fields that were newly-planted
in response to eradication. Such fields are less productive than
Colombian coca crop has declined by more than a third from the
high point of expansion in 2001 (169,000 hectares). This pattern
holds throughout the Andes, where total cultivation in the measured
areas of the three coca growing nations (Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia)
has markedly decreased since 2001.
overall potential cocaine production throughout the Andes continued
its decline, falling 5 percent in 2004. Small increases in cultivation
in Bolivia (with an estimated 65 metric tons of potential production
in 2004) were offset by a comparable decline in cultivation in
Peru (with an estimated 145 metric tons of potential production
in 2004) and the above-noted decline in Colombian potential production.
Total Andean cocaine production (currently estimated at 640 metric
tons) has dropped nearly 30 percent (260 metric tons) since its
peak of 900 metric tons in 2001.
the estimate shows that Colombian opium poppy cultivation fell
52 percent between 2003 and 2004. The estimated 4,400 hectares
of opium poppy for 2003 decreased steeply to 2,100 hectares for
2004. There were an estimated 3.8 metric tons of potential heroin
production in 2004 (down from 7.8 metric tons for 2003). More
than 4,000 hectares of opium poppy were treated with herbicide
in 2004 or manually eradicated.
of April 13, 2005, this document was also available online at