When world leaders meet at the United Nations in New York next September for a Special Summit on Sustainable Development, their minds won’t necessarily be on chocolate. Their task will be to agree on new Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose deadline expires this year.
But if the world wants to ensure a sustainable supply of quality chocolate bars, it needs to do more to support cocoa farmers in developing countries, and particularly women cocoa farmers. No. 3 of the MDGs is to “Promote gender equality and empower women”. That is just as urgent in cocoa farming as it is in other agricultural sectors.
On average, women make up 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries and in sub-Saharan Africa 54% of women and 60% of men are employed in agriculture. In cocoa, women often play a key role in managing the planting and nurturing of seedlings…
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