From coca to cocaine – exhibition on alternatives to drug crops

Foyer des DIE mit Stellwänden

Impressions from the vernissage on November 19 in the foyer of the DIE, ©DIE

On 19 November, the exhibition „From coca to cocaine – the forgotten link in the chain“ was opened at DIE.

It shows how “Alternative Development” can open up legal perspectives for smallholder farmers who make up their living from the illicit cultivation of drug crops such as coca or opium poppy. On 11 large panels with pictures, infographics and texts the exhibition highlights important topics around the development of alternatives to drug crop cultivation. These are eg. appropriate high value cash crops, infrastructure, access to legal markets, land rights and the sensitisation for gender issues.

Opening speech in the evening ©DIE

At the same time, the exhibition clears up prejudices about the drug crop cultivation. Prejudices are, for instance that drug crops make farmers rich or that the eradication of the plants is sufficient to solve the problem. So far, the development of alternatives and more generally the understanding for drug crop farmers does not receive sufficient attention compared to repressive measures – only 0.1% of the global development budget is invested in these measures. Yet, there are successes from which one can learn, for instance in Thailand.

The exhibition wants to contribute to this learning. It has been designed on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) by the sector project „Sustainable Rural Areas“ of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which technically accompanies several projects in drug crop cultivation countries and advises the Federal Government on the subject.

The exhibition is open until 18 December during business hours (Mon-Fri 8-18: 30) in the foyer of the DIE to visit.