Low Wages Remain an Issue in Indian Agriculture Sector

“Hybrid seed production is a fast-growing, Rs 12,000 crore industry in India and is supposed to be better organized as seed production is done mostly through contract farming/production,” claims Dr Davuluri Venketeswarlu who compiled the report and conducted the study along with Jacob Kalle.

Currently Dr Venkateswarlu is the Director of Glocal Research and Consulting Services in Hyderabad. It is a research based and policy counseling organization. His fellow mate, Jacob Kalle is pursuing a Ph.D from the University of Hyderabad in Agriculture Biotechnology and Ethics.

The study reported, “Of the total 200 sample farms selected for the survey, 37.5 percent (25 cotton seed and 50 vegetable seed farms) were producing seed for MNCs: Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, and Advanta. Comparison of wage data between farms producing for MNCs and those producing for local companies shows no significant variation,” as reported by Business Today.

It only means that the average wages of laborers employed in producing seeds for MNCs and for the local companies do not show much variation.

Presented with an example the study elucidates, “The average daily wage rates for ploughing and spraying pesticides in Koppal in Karnataka varied between Rs 162.50 and Rs 184.50 on MNC farms and between Rs 160.80 and Rs 184 on farms producing for local companies. Similarly, for other activities, the difference in average wage rates was marginal between MNCs and local companies which accounted to less than three percent on an average,” as reported by Business Today.

The laborers do have to work for the given salaries as they don’t know whom to question. However, with the rising inflation the question of making through a day with as little as these laborers earn, do rise concerns, which needs to be confronted.

Also Read: Natural Resources Form 47 Pct of the 'GDP of the Poor' in India