Child labour rampant in AP cotton farms: report
Date of publication: November 25, 2005
Source: Financial Express
By Ashok B Sharma
NEW DELHI, NOV 24: Production of cotton seeds has become problematic with recent studies revealing extensive use of child labour. Two separate studies conducted recently held that multinationals like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta and Indian companies like Nuziveedu Seeds, Raasi Seeds and Ankur Seeds as responsible for the situation.
These companies are paying farmers about 40% which is too little to hire adults against local minimum wage of Rs 52 per day. The farmers working for these companies, therefore, hire children and young people aged below 18 years.
At least 1,00,000 of them work 13 hours a day in cotton seed production in Andhra Pradesh for less than half a euro per day. They are often bound by loans given to their parents”, said the report ‘The Price of Childhood’ released by the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN), the International Labor Rights Fund of US and Eine Welt Netz NRW (OneWorld Net Germany).
The authors of the report, independent Indian researcher Dr Davuluri Venkateswarlu and British agricultural economist Lucia da Corta from Oxford University, are holding the view that the seed companies are responsible for large-scale child labour and for evading India’s minimum wage laws.