A rights-based campaign and advocacy organization, EcoCare Ghana has advised the government to address issues of cocoa pricing to help tackle Child Labour in farming communities.
Obed Owusu Addai, the founder of EcoCare Ghana speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, January 30, said some cocoa farmers turn to children for labour due to a lack of money to hire older labourers.
“The root cause of farmers wanting to use children as labour on their farms is because they don’t have money to pay for labour, and they share the landscape with illegal miners and these illegal miners pay 200 cedis per day for labour and the cocoa farmer can only pay 40 cedis per day for labour and so obviously there is this sense of the farmer wanting to use their children on their farm.”
Mr Addai’s comment comes after the Ghana COCOBOD said its fact-finding mission had discovered that Al Jazeera staged its report of child labour on cocoa farms in the Amenfi-West Municipality of the Western Region.
Al Jazeera, in its report, stated that the use of child labour has risen in cocoa farms in Ghana during the past decade despite industry promises to reduce it.
According to the report, the prevalence of children doing hazardous work, including using sharp tools, has also gone up in the world’s top two cocoa producers, according to a study funded by the United States government.
But the Director of Special Services at the Ghana Cocobod, Charles Amenyaglo, said interaction with persons interviewed by Al Jazeera at Ohiampenika community, revealed that the whole report was deliberately staged to hurt Ghana’s cocoa industry.
He said the Cocoa industry is the oxygen of Ghana and the government will fight the powerful forces trying to undermine the cocoa industry.
“Cocoa is the oxygen of Ghana and when you take away the oxygen from a human being what happens, what is happening here is a calculated strategy to kill Ghana, and we will not let it happen. In Ghana, we don’t use children on our Cocoa farms. The Cocoa management will not sit down on this without any action.”