International Labour Organisation commissions research report on Ghana’s cocoa productivity

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) through its Cocoa Community project, has commissioned a research report that identifies practical measures to enhance productivity in cocoa growing communities in Ghana.

The research seeks to identify sustainable measures to enhance cocoa productivity and improve livelihoods in cocoa growing communities within the context of eliminating child labour.

The study revealed that the country’s cocoa farming was dominated by ageing farmers because the enterprise was unattractive to the youth.

Mr Paul Asamoah Kukwaw, the Research Consultant, noted at a day’s workshop in Accra on Tuesday that interventions introduced into the cocoa sector by Government, NGOs and private sectors, had contributed to significant improvement in productivity.

“However, the reach has not been extensive enough, leaving a large segment of cocoa farmers out of the benefit of those interventions,” he added.

He said it was also to improve knowledge in agricultural practices and promote social wellbeing, leading ultimately to increased productivity and reduced dependence on child labour.

Mr Kukwaw called for pragmatic efforts in adopting measures such as agronomy, biotechnology, disease and pest control management and technology transfer through research to enhance productivity in the sector.

Mrs. Mariam Gachago, Chief Technical Advisor of ILO, said the research findings and recommendations would be an important tool in the implementation of the Cocoa Community project.

She said the project was being implemented in four districts of the country – Birim South, Twifo Herman Lower Denkyria, Wassa Amenfi West, and Suhum Kraboa Coaltar.

She explained that the project was focusing on the integrated area-based approach and had recognized poverty and decent work deficits as the key causes of child labour in the sector.

“…that any efforts to eliminate child labour in cocoa growing communities, as part of a wider national strategies will enhance decent work, promote education and reduce poverty,” she added.

She called on stakeholders to contribute their ideas to improve on the livelihood of cocoa farmers to avoid child labour in the country.

She commended the country for its efforts in the elimination of worst forms of child labour in the sector.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, commended the ILO for introducing more interventions to fight the child labour menace.

He also lauded the contributions of other stakeholders in the elimination and provision of livelihood for farmers in the sector.

Source: GNA

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