Africa’s Cotton Industry: FAO advocates elimination of Child Labour

Amaka E. Nliam

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called for the elimination of child labour, particularly in Africa’s cotton industry.

Citing Mali, Africa’s second largest cotton producer, as an example, the FAO revealed that 40% of the rural population work in the cotton sector, with children not exempted.

“The country is stepping up efforts to reduce child labour with the CLEAR Cotton Project co-financed by European Union and implemented by ILO in collaboration with FAO.

“The aim is to eradicate child labour in the cotton industry while strengthening the livelihoods of vulnerable families.

“Thanks to income-generating activities like small livestock, market gardening, and sesame cultivation,” said the FAO.

In further efforts to provide a better future for the children, the FAO has also established Farmer Field Schools and Dimitra Clubs (listeners’ clubs and community radios) that train and sensitize the rural populace to the consequences of child labour.


Amaka E. Nliam

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