The Ghana COCOBOD says its fact-finding mission following a report of child labour on cocoa farms in the Amenfi-West Municipality of the Western Region shows that the Al Jazeera report was stage-managed.
Cocobod added that the whole report was calculated to undermine the Ghanaian cocoa industry.
Al Jazeera, in its report, 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.
Speaking to Citi News during Cocobod’s fact-finding interaction with persons interviewed by Al Jazeera at Ohiampenipa community, the Director of Special Services at the Ghana Cocobod, Charles Amenyaglo said the Cocoa industry is the oxygen of Ghana and will fight the powerful forces trying to undermine the cocoa industry.
“Cocoa is the oxygen of Ghana and when you take away the oxygen from a human being what happens, what is happening here is a calculated strategy to kill Ghana, and we will not let it happen. In Ghana, we don’t use children on our Cocoa farms. The Cocoa management will not sit down on this without any action.”
A former Assemblyman for the Ohiampenipa community, Samuel Ofosu Asare who witnessed the AlJazeera recording explained that Aljazeera reporters asked the children to carry cocoa pods and took shots of them.
He added that the children were later given chocolates after staging the entire report.