Cocoa farmers in the country have been urged to be more proactive in child labour elimination efforts as this would guarantee a better future for the children living in cocoa growing communities.
Mr. Paul Amevor, the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Manager of the Mondelez International Cocoa Life (MICL) Program in Ghana, gave the advice, when speaking at this year’s Annual General Meeting of the Sekyere East MICL Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union, held at Effiduase in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti.
He said supporting the cause of child labour elimination in cocoa growing communities, would not only improve the access of children to education, but also help remove the risks that may affect their health and wellbeing.
This, according to him, would help boost the future human resource base of the communities since these children after acquiring the requisite education and professional skills, would offer more beneficial services to help grow the country’s economy.
“Child labour in the cocoa value chain could be completely eliminated if cocoa farmers and other industry players decided not to hire or engage children on their farms”, he added.
Speaking on the purpose of the meeting, he said, it was to provide an opportunity for the member farmers across the District to discuss and seek explore possible means of resolving the challenges affecting their farming activities and businesses.
According to him, the event was also meant to help take stock of the past year’s activities to help chart a new course to achieve future targets.
The Manager urged the farmers to attend training sessions of the Union which provided capacity building business management skills, good agronomic practices and other relevant extension service information.
Mr. Samuel Adjare, the President of the Farmers’ Union, commended the farmers for their participation in the meeting and the group’s activities and urged their continuous adherence to good agronomic practices.