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Colombia to follow late King’s example in tackling illegal crops

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Beset with farmers growing narcotic plants, Colombia plans to follow the example of Thailand’s late King in a bid to convince them to begin cultivating alternative crops.

Eduardo Díaz Uribe, director of the South American nation’s Agency for the Substitution of Illicit Crops, is tasked with convincing tens of thousands of farmers to exchange the coca they’re growing on 150,000 hectares for a less harmful crop.
Díaz Uribe, on a visit to Thailand, said on Friday his government would adopt the measures initiated here by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in areas where coca – from which cocaine is derived – is being grown.
King Rama IX succeeded in persuading farmers in the North to trade the cultivation of opium for other crops and initiative agricultural practices that made the new crops just as financially lucrative.
Díaz Uribe and agency adviser Claudia Paola Salcedo Vasquez will be in Thailand through August 31, Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Secretary General Sirinya Sitthichai said. 
They planned to visit the Doi Tung Development Project and Plookpa Sangkhon Raksa Tonnam Bunthao Uthokapai forest and watershed conservation project in Chiang Rai, Sirinya said. 
The Colombians’ visit is part of a Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development Project organised by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation and Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit. Its aim is to promote the late King's guidance in solving such problems.

Published : August 25, 2017

By : The Nation