Report: Colombia coca production soars 44 percent


QUITO, Ecuador - Colombia in 2014 saw its largest increase in coca cultivation — the precursor to cocaine — in at least seven years, the United Nations reported Thursday.

In its annual report, the U.N. said coca crops in Colombia from 2013-2014 increased 44 percent to 69,000 hectares, or 175,500 acres. As a result, Colombia’s potential cocaine production jumped from 290 metric tons in 2013 to 442 metric tons in 2014, for an increase of 52 percent.

The annual report is based on satellite data. Earlier this year the government announced it would stop the aerial dusting of coca crops due to health concerns about the glyphosate herbicide being used.