The idea is that if it can be made more profitable to grow some other, legal crop than it is to grow coca, then farmers will change their focus. There is interest among cocaleros. Even Édgar Marmani, the local union leader, says he would consider switching to other industries if the start-up costs were lower. “Poultry, tomatoes, pork—they’re all more profitable than coca, but they need investment,” he complains. The European Union has put forward some cash to meet that need, funding projects in Bolivia that encourage the cultivation of bananas, coffee, and citrus fruits, among other things.
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