Ivory Coast is facing a major crisis due to the overuse of pesticides. As cocoa prices have fallen, farmers are desperate to increase their yields in order to make a living. In this pursuit, they are using chemicals that are not only banned in Europe but also used in unregulated mixtures and with little to no protective equipment.
The use of these pesticides has been linked to serious health problems for the farmers and local communities, including skin rashes, respiratory difficulties, and possibly even cancer. But despite the high costs of proper protection and safer chemicals, many farmers simply don’t have the resources to make changes. This is leading many communities into a cycle of poverty and illness due to lack of access to medical care or adequate safety education.
A new documentary titled “Ivory Coast: The Poisoned Fields” takes an in-depth look at this issue from all angles. Through interviews with farmers, scientists, lawyers, public health experts, and others, the film sheds much needed light on the human cost of chemical use on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast. It also examines potential solutions that could help protect both people and the environment while still allowing farmers to make a living.
As policymakers across Europe consider banning cocoa from Ivory Coast due to safety concerns, it is more important than ever that we understand how these decisions will affect those on the ground. We urge you to watch this eye-opening documentary and join us in finding ways to create a more sustainable future for all those involved in cocoa farming in Ivory Coast.