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Leap of Faith – From Coca to Cacao

The Peru Alternative Development Program promoted sustainable economic and social development for families and communities transitioning from the illicit cultivation of coca to a licit lifestyle.

Peru Alternative Development Program III and the “Miracle of San Martin,” its most prominent success story, remain the most credible USAID experience in establishing a licit culture, with more than 700 communities and 60,000 farmer families embracing alternatives to growing coca.

The program contributed to building a new industry in Peru by supporting more than 56,000 hectares of cacao, which account for more than 50 percent of Peruvian cacao production, and 24,000 hectares of coffee, plantain, and heart of palm. Due to its success, the program has become a reference point for development of other USAID programs focused on sustainable transition to a licit lifestyle.

Project Results: 
  • 85,276 families reached.
  • 139,304 hectares cultivated.
  • More than 30,000 hectares mapped with geographic information system technology.
  • 1,106 communities reached.
  • 45 local governments supported.
  • 2 regional governments supported.
  • 4,231 families in 133 communities adopted licit livelihoods as a result of post-eradication development initiatives.
  • Trained more than 10,000 farmers in 523 farmer field schools.
  • Increased beneficiaries' average annual incomes by 83 percent.

Project Links:

Final Report

Project Duration: 2007 - 2012


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