Business News of 2014-01-03

Farmers participate in project to end child labour

Three hundred farmers are taking part in a project to eliminate child labour in cocoa-growing communities in the country. During the 30-month project period, the farmers would be introduced to other economic ventures such as beekeeping, grass-cutter rearing, poultry, soap making and trained in business management.

The GH¢80,568.00 project is an initiative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with the collaboration of the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), the National Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (NPECL), International Cocoa Institute (ICI) and GLORI, a non-governmental organisation, as implementation partners.

Launching the project at Manso Amenfi in the Amenfi Central District of the Western Region, the Project Co-ordinator of the ILO, Mrs Charity Dodoo, said child labour was unacceptable because “it prevents children from benefiting fully from education.”

She expressed the hope that the initiative and support would help empower the 10 selected communities to be model communities to other communities.

The Western Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the GAWU, Mr Anthony Boakye, said the union was to take the farmers through training on occupational safety, health and good practices to improve the yield of their produce, and added that “agriculture without child labour is possible.”

The Project Co-ordinator of GLORI, Mr Sid Michael Amponsah, entreated the beneficiary farmers to adhere to the education they were receiving on how to improve their produce and use the tools given them for the intended purpose.

The District Chief Executive of Amenfi Central, Mr Peter Yaw Kwakye Ackah, said inasmuch as the government was poised to provide electricity, water and other social amenities, it welcomed support from NGOs whose projects or initiatives were complementing the efforts of the government.

He pledged his support for the programme and called on parents, particularly those in cocoa-growing communities to enroll their children in schools since the knowledge they gain at school could help in a profitable venture like agriculture.