NESTLE ADVANCES ACTIONS TO CURB CHILD LABOUR IN COCOA IN ASHANTI REGION
The Cocoanect country Representative, Marjolijn Hekelaah, handing over a school bag to a child
The remediation element of the Nestle Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) was officially launched today with a community Durbar in Ayokoah in the Adansi Asokwa District of the Asanti Region. This is the second phase of the CLMRS process which seeks to support children who were identified as being engaged in child labour during the data collection phase.
The remediation exercise, which started in August, which seeks to benefit 975 children in 445 farming households from 62 cocoa communities. These communities include Adansekrom, Anyemi, Jacobu, Koniyaw, Ayokoa, Agogoso, Obonsu, Kwame Ntow and Aboo-KanKanfranse.
In all, 975 children will benefit from the remediation exercise. 776 of these children are in the primary to junior high school. They were supported with educational materials such as school uniforms, bags, exercise books and foot wear.
80 more of these children, who fall between the ages of 15 to 17 years, have been enrolled in apprenticeship programmes of their choice. They are engaged in learning trades like tiling, welding, carpentry, masonry, auto mechanics, hairdressing and tailoring.
119 out of the 975 children will also benefit indirectly from the exercise through the support which has been given to their parents to start Income Generating Activities (IGAs). These parents, made up of 436 cocoa farmers with 248 of them being females, have been supported with seedlings, extension services, agrochemicals and others. The IGAs they are engaging in include vegetable, cereal and animal farming, soap making and oil palm extraction.
Four communities, Tweapease, Koniyaw, Anwona and Denkyea, who showed a high prevalence of child labour, have also been supported to set up Community Service Groups (CSG). These groups will provide alternative labour for cocoa farmers upon the withdrawal of their children from the farms. The groups have been supported with training in good agronomic practices in cocoa cultivation. They have also been equipped with motorized mist blower, pruner, forceps, ladder, cutlasses and protective clothing to aid their work. This work will also bring in additional income as they will be charging the farmers for their services at a lower rate than those charged by the labourers.
Speaking at the Durbar, Nestlé Cocoa Plan Manager, Fred Kukubor, shared Nestlé’s commitment to promote shared growth in their value chain. He said
“At Nestlé we have an ambition to help improve 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities by 2030. We believe that we can create a sustainable future for the cocoa farmers we buy from and their children, if we invest in them with the right tools, trainings, and knowledge. Every child has the right to education and we believe that we can empower parents to achieve this with measures implemented through the CLMRS.”