Nigerian cocoa farmers have the capacity to dominate the global cocoa industry with financial support and effective skill acquisition.
Adejola Ahmed, Sustainability Operations Manager Barry Callebaut Nigeria said this was possible through good agricultural practices training, good business practices, child labour awareness, financial inclusion plans, and agro-forestry projects.
Adejola made this revelation at a training workshop held with farmers in Akure, Ondo State.
He also said with the right intervention, the menace of child labour in the cocoa industry.
“International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that there are 15 million child workers and at a staggering 43% of the total population of minors, it is the highest recorded rate of child labour in West Africa.”
“As a measure to address this concern, our company is organizing this programme to train cocoa farmers on child labour issues,” he said.
“With the help of our seasoned facilitator/consultant, I believe that this training and sensitization programme will go a long way in impacting our lives as farmers and changing our orientation towards the issue of child labor and forced in our society.”
Adejola assured that his firm will help to esnure zero child labor in villages, communities and towns.
Following a global economic lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cocoa industry has experienced a recent revival.
The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) says Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria are world’s largest producers of cocoa.