Cocoa Production in West Africa

1588 Words Oct 29th, 2012 7 Pages
By Darren Francis
10/22/2010

Cocoa Production in West Africa

This map shows the main cocoa production areas in West Africa. The patterns shows on this map indicate that the Southern coastline of West Africa is a major cocoa bean producing area. The pattern starts at Sierra Leone and follows the coastline down to Cameroon. Some exception to this pattern is in Nigeria, in the area of Port Harcourt there is no production and in Benin there is also no production. The brighter orange as indicated on the map which is the main part of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana accounts for 60% - 2.2 million metric tons of World cocoa production while all cocoa production in West Africa accounts for more than 70% - of World cocoa production.
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Young boys whose ages range from 12 to 16 have been sold into slave labour and are forced to work in cocoa farms in order to harvest the beans, from which chocolate is made, under inhumane conditions and extreme abuse.

Top five producing countries of Cocoa in 2007-2008 Country | Amount produced | Percentage of world production | Côte d 'Ivoire | 1.3 million tons | 37.4% | Ghana | 720 thousand tons | 20.7% | Indonesia | 440 thousand tons | 12.7% | Cameroon | 175 thousand tons | 5.0% | Nigeria | 160 thousand tons | 4.6% |
The countries in bold are all from the West African region which shows how important the West African region is for world cocoa production.

Two main issues with cocoa are child labourers and climate change.
CHILD LABOUR
If we eat chocolate then through trading in some way we are all involved whether it is the governments, the farmers, the chocolate manufacturers, or consumers who unknowingly buy chocolate we are all responsible for the atrocity that is child labour in West Africa.

A UNICEF study reports that 200,000 children are trafficked yearly in West and Central Africa. The trafficking occurs across many countries including Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana. Slave traders traffic boys ranging from the age of 12 to 16 from their home countries and sell them to cocoa farmers in Cote d 'Ivoire. They work on small farms across the country, harvesting the cocoa beans day and