The Ghana Agriculture and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) has dismissed findings of a report funded by the United States government that suggested the use of child labour has risen on cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast during the past decade.
President of GARDJA; Richmond Frimpong who spoke in an interview with Globe TV was unhappy with the report and explained that in the assessment of GARDJA, child labour issues had reduced drastically as farmers have been educated and have expressed a profound understanding of the issues.
He however said it is not child labour when children help their parents on the farm during off-school periods. He cited examples of places he had visited in the United States where parents used help from their children on the farm and questioned the rationale and methodology employed in the study.
A study funded by the United States government revealed that the use of child labour has risen in cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast during the past decade despite industry promises to reduce it.
The report says the prevalence of children doing hazardous work, including using sharp tools, has also gone up in the world’s top two cocoa producers.
The levels were higher than in 2010 when companies including Mars, Hershey, Nestle and Cargill agreed to reduce the worst forms of child labour in Ghana and Ivory Coast’s cocoa sectors by 70 percent by 2020.
Players in the cocoa industry in Ghana are surprised as a lot of work has been done to ensure that child labour becomes a thing of the past. GARDJA a media organization which has been doing a lot of advocacy for cocoa farmers downplayed the report.
Richmond encouraged African farmers to continue doing their best to ensure that child labour on farms is eradicated totally.
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