APPROVED FOR RELEASE DATE: APR
Crime and Narcotics Center
The Narcotics Monitor
Optimum growing conamons enaote
farmers to harvest three crops pera relatively small areaotential annual yield of someetric tons of opium gum or enough toetric tons of heroin. liven though Ihe Colombian National Police (CNP) aerially sprayedectares of opium poppy with ihe herbicide glyphosate inoutpacing last year's spray effortsis currently no mechanism in place lo accurately assess the amount eracicaiedj
While overall cultivation remained roughly equalS levels, cultivation has become more localized and appears better managed.
Almost two-thirds of Colombia's total0 hectares, is located in die Tolinxa/Huila growing area, along the eastern slopes of the central Andes. Of that, aboutercent lies alongmile arc from just north of Chaparral. Tolima, south lo Iquira, Huila.
Also, cultivation is generally found in high density "islands" located along steep mountain valleys in Ihe Andean montane forests, above ihe belt of licit cultivation, andeters in elevation.
Farmers continue lo improve iheir cultivation lechniques by staggering plantings to better manage labor requirements and practicing field rotation probably due to climate and soil conditions. Irrigation is also being introduced into some fields, particularly in the Cauca growing area.
GrQMillgA.rea Cu|tfvatiP" ^) Annual Ciillivatinn* Prodnctjop (mt)*
estimate* assume chree harvests pet year.
yield isilograms per hectare; raitoof opium to heroin is
In addition to physiological requirements governing where opium poppy can be successfully cultivated, the illicit nature of tbe crop also predisposes cultivationccur in isolated and rugged regions of the Andeanof the same areas favored by Colombia's guerrillaeradication difficulties. Cultivation docs coincide with guerrilla strongholds and the CNP haveevolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) presence at pcppyfields in Tolima, Huila. and Cauca.
The high-density growing areas in ToUrna/Huila coincide with the reported operating areas of theth fronts of the Combined Central Command and the 6th front of the Western Bloc.
The high-density growing area in Cauca Department is also home to the 8th front of the FARC's Western Bloc.
[available information suggests that some groups derive sucstandal sums from
protecting cultivation and imposing "taxes" on growers, processors, and transporters.