News 30 October 2014

Research on impact of increased cocoa productivity launched

Research on impact of increased cocoa productivity launched

As cocoa companies are seeking to increase productivity to respond to the rising demand for cocoa and the families of smallholder farmers have traditionally been the main source of household labour, it is important to understand what impact production increases may have on the labour needs and decisions – specifically with regards to children.

For this reason the International Cocoa Initiative commissioned a research that will look at the potential and actual impact of increasing productivity on the labour market and child labour risk in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Farmers’ increased income might lead to the hiring of skilled adult labour and increased school attendance for their children; or it might put an additional pressure on the families to use their children even more to cope with the immediate need for more hands working in the cocoa farm in a context where adult labourers are not readily affordable or available.

The research started at the beginning of August and will finish in March 2015, with data collection scheduled for November 2014. It will examine the following questions: what agricultural projects are being implemented to increase productivity, and what implication does this have on the labour demand; what are the conditions that determine the supply/demand of adult and child labour; to what extent may incomes derived from improved cocoa productivity allow for the increased labour demand to be met and what are actions cocoa buyers can take to reduce the child labour risk while ensuring that productivity gains are made?

The research has been jointly funded by the World Cocoa Foundation, Jacobs Foundation, Lindt Cocoa Foundation, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC).

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