The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, says COCOBOD will take on Al Jazeera over the report it has made about child labour in cocoa farms in Ghana.
He also said those who granted the interviews are being sent to court to investigate the matter.
In a report, Al Jazeera, stated that the use of child labour, has risen in cocoa farms in Ghana during the past decade despite industry promises to reduce it.
According to the report, the prevalence of children doing hazardous work, including using sharp tools, has also gone up in the world’s top two cocoa producers, according to a study funded by the United States government.
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Speaking on the matter on Atinka TV’s morning show, Ghana Nie with Ama Gyenfa Ofosu Darkwa, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo said COCOBOD will deal with Al Jazeera because the photos are a dent on the image of the cocoa industry.
“We will plead with the media because it is the image of the industry that we are denting.” We are causing damage to the cocoa industry, which is the glue that holds the economy together. “With what has happened, we shall prosecute the people, so all the farmers who were involved have been picked up by the police and are being processed for court; when they get there and they confirm that they were called on Sunday to the farm to take photos and give explanations, then we know that the people went to trick the farmers,” he said.
He again said, “We will also deal with Al Jazeera because even in the western world, when something happens to a child, his face is not exposed, they cover their face with something, but for this, the child was just walking and picking cocoa, just like that, and so even the woman whose child was involved has been disgraced, including her child, who is not even six months old. “All these are used to portray a bad image of Ghana, and so we have to deal with all of them.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo expressed worry over the issue, saying that due to that, when they send cocoa to the foreigners, they do not want to buy it because they feel you used child labour to gather the beans.
“That is why I am advising farmers, that if you are there any media come to you, not all of them are bad, but the unscrupulous media personnel that will come, and they do not have any affection for the nation but are only interested in money, I am pleading with the farmers that when they come, before they set their cameras, alert us at COCOBOD immediately,”
Ghana| Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori