International drug policies in future will take farmers more into consideration.
Photo: © Daniel Brombacher (giz)

13.05.2016

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Farmers in drug crop cultivation regions are caught in a vicious circle. They work in remote areas and are often dependent on criminal networks. It is also difficult to quit the cultivation of illicit drug crops as there are no markets for legal alternatives. The farmers lack farming knowledge and get no government support. “Alternative Development” (AD) projects can contribute to opening up new perspectives for farmers

For the past three decades, Germany has been promoting Alternative Development as part of its drug policy and development co-operation activities in South America, Asia and, since recently, North Africa. One  example is the support of the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) in Peru, Bolivia and Myanmar by “Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ). The AD approach to development co-operation has been strengthened significantly. In future, international drug policies are to take farmers more into consideration.

New drug policy goals for the international community

Representatives of the international community met at the UNGASS (United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem) in New York, USA, this April.
Having first taken place in 1998, the next conference was initially scheduled for 2019. But the presidents of Mexico, Columbia and Guatemala urged for an earlier meeting of the international community, because these countries are challenged by an increasing violence and the negative effects of current – mostly repressive – drug policies.

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