The Ministry of Labour has said prevalence of child labour in Malawi has dropped from 37 percent of children aged five to 17 in 2002 to 29 percent in 2006.
In a press statement issued last week, the ministry said a 2002 national survey on child labour showed that there are 1.4 million child labourers in the country and agriculture is found to be the single biggest employer, with 53 percent of the child labourers.
The ministry, announcing a national conference on child labour in agriculture set for September 5 to 6 this year in Lilongwe, said Malawiâ€™s child labour elimination efforts are bearing fruits.
The ministry said the multiple cluster indicator survey conducted in 2006 showed the drop of the prevalence of child labour to 29 percent.
Reads the statement signed by secretary for Ministry of Labour James Kalirangwe: â€œThe objective of the conference is to demonstrate to the world that the Malawi Government is leaving no stone unturned in the fight against child labour, particularly in agriculture.
â€œA number of evidence-based papers on topical issues will be presented to drive this point home.â€
The ministry said government has put in place measures to intensify the fight against child labour in agriculture, including the tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar sub-sectors.
The theme of the national conference, expected to be graced by President Joyce Banda, is â€˜End child labour in agriculture, our children our future.â€™
The Elimination Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland, funded the national conference.