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US: Coca Cultivation in Colombia Dropped Slightly in 2018

Soldiers uproot coca shrubs as part of a manual eradication operation in San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia, March 22, 2019.

The Trump administration is reporting that coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia dropped slightly in 2018 for the first time in six years, but it remained at historically high levels.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy says that coca cultivation in Colombia dropped to 208,000 hectares in 2018 from 209,000 hectares in 2017, while the potential pure cocaine production went to 887 pure metric tons in 2018 from 900 pure metric tons in 2017.

The South American country says the data released Wednesday shows progress toward a goal agreed upon with Washington to cut cultivation and drug production in half by 2023.

Colombia is the world's largest exporter of cocaine and the growth of its coca crop has tested relations with the United States.