Low Wages Remain an Issue in Indian Agriculture Sector

Bangalore: Indian agriculture sector still remains one of the lowest paid in the world. A report on the agricultural wages released in the U.S. and the Netherlands states, “In spite of the legal requirements, payment of minimum wages is an issue in the agriculture sector in general, and seed production in particular, in India,” as reported by E Kumar Sharma for Business Today.  

The report further claims ‘Wages of inequality - Wage discrimination and underpayment in Hybrid seed production in India,’ as commissioned by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Both of these are non-governmental, international organizations concentrating on creating fair labour conditions.

The study presented that even with significant increase in the wages in the recent years as per National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the other factors, the wage given for certain categories and activities of workers are still below the legal minimum rates, particularly in the case of women.

The study concentrated majorly on the labour wages given in the India’s hybrid seed production sector like cotton and vegetables. The study was mainly conducted in India’s four major hybrid seed producing states, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The Study said, “In many states, the Minimum Wages Act is not implemented properly in the agricultural sector. There is lack of awareness about the Act among workers and farmers alike," as per Business Today.

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