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It isboy_with_machete estimated by the ILO that 132 million children aged 5-14 work in agriculture around the world (more than 70% of child labour worldwide). Nine out of ten working children in rural areas are engaged in agricultural activities. In Africa only, between 56 and 72 million children work in agriculture. Agriculture, together with mining and construction, is one of the most dangerous sectors, where children often work in hazardous conditions: spraying pesticides, applying fertilizers, sowing and harvesting crops.

In Côte d’Ivoire, based on the latest national report on child labour in cocoa growing (2007-2008 National Survey Report), 89% of the children surveyed reported undertaking some work in cocoa production. Results show that, 53.2% of children living in cocoa farms carry heavy loads, 8.4% spray fertilizers, 5.5% cut trees, 4.6% spray pesticides (but more than 35% are indirectly involved in this activity). Less than 2% of children who work in cocoa production are not members of the household.

In Ghana, children’s involvement in hazardous cocoa activities showed that 46.7% of the children had participated in at least one hazardous cocoa activity during the 2008 cocoa farming season (Executive summary Cocoa Labor Survey in Ghana).Children typically spend 4 to 8 hours each time they go to the farm. The children indicated that they all worked during the last cocoa season for their parents. Children involved in work are generally the children of the cocoa farmers. The involvement of these children in cocoa production activities is widespread across communities although not all this activity should be considered child labour.