Bolivia sees coca as a way to perk up its economy – but all everyone else sees is cocaine
Farmers can now grow more of the ‘star product’, but officials underestimated international resistance because coca is so widely accepted as harmless in Bolivia
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The vision of an expanding international market for legal coca products – such as flour, tea and ointments – is shared widely in Bolivia, and it was the driving force for a recent law signed this month by president Evo Morales that jacks up the 12,000 hectares (29,640 acres) legally recognized in a 1988 law to 22,000 hectares. But in most other countries, coca is still best known as the main ingredient in cocaine, and finding a legal market for alternative products has proved challenging.