Coca and Tropical Colonization in Bolivia: The Adaptiveness of a Cash Crop

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Abstract

Evaluation of the adaptlveness of coca as a cash crop Involves several Interrelated factors. In addition to the physiological and social aspects of coca consumption, coca production Is affected by conditions for Its cultivation In a changing physical environment, by developments In the market economy, and by International political pressures to restrict the Illicit distribution of cocaine. Fieldwork data from one pioneer settlement of Quechuaspeaklng homesteaders show that coca remains the main cash crop in the tropical Chapare colonization zone in eastern Bolivia. But the future of this crop is largely beyond the control of the Andean peasants who have traditionally raised and used it.

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