LIMA — The area planted with coca in Peru expanded 9 percent in 2016, ending a streak of four years of consecutive declines, as global demand for cocaine grows, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said on Tuesday.
Peru planted 43,900 hectares with the leaf that is the raw ingredient of cocaine last year, according to UNODC.
The U.N. said in July that lands being used to cultivate coca in Colombia grew 52 percent last year to 146,000 hectares.
Peru and Colombia compete for the title of world’s top coca and cocaine producer.
The coca growing area in Bolivia, the world’s No. 3 producer, grew 14 percent in 2016, UNODC said. …