The founder and executive director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), Mr. Joseph Kobla Wemakor, has spoken out against the mistreatment of cocoa farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, calling it a depressing situation.
Mr. Wemakor highlighted the upsetting results of recent research by Oxfam in an interview with an American television journalist who serves as a senior presenter for the Newsmakers show on TRT World in Istanbul.
The study revealed that despite being the leading cocoa producers globally, Ghana and Ivory Coast collectively receive a mere $4.5 billion out of the industry’s massive $130 billion in revenue.
Mr. Wemakor emphasized that this act of injustice has not received the attention it deserves to instigate meaningful change.
He stated, “Sadly, this is affecting the poor farmers who sustain us. It’s disheartening… HRRG recognizes the urgency of championing this issue and ensuring that justice is served through intensified advocacy efforts.”
Mr. Wemakor also bemoaned the lack of government assistance, saying that this was a problem that needed to be addressed in order to alleviate the situation facing the cocoa farmers.
He further highlighted the detrimental impact of illegal mining on the cocoa industry, whereby cocoa farms are converted into illegal mining sites, hindering the sector’s growth.
During the show, Mr. Uwe Gneiting, a senior researcher at Oxfam Ghana, expressed optimism that the challenges faced by cocoa farmers today could be resolved if chocolate processing companies showed willingness to tackle them.
He emphasized the necessity of finding strategies to allocate more resources to farmers, including implementing higher pricing, in order to sustain the chocolate sector.
On the other hand, Mr. Elikem Kotoko, a Ghanaian activist, blamed the government for exploiting cocoa farmers.
He pointed out the lack of deliberate commitment on the government’s part to protect farmers from exploitation and called for the government to enforce strict rules aimed at safeguarding the rights of cocoa farmers against heinous exploitation by large corporations.
Watch the interview here:
Source: Alexander Bombande