Child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh: recent developments

Child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh: recent developments

Child labour in Andhra Pradesh

Following up on an earlier report, this report continues to examine trends in employment of child labour in hybrid cottonseed production in Andhra Pradesh. It also assesses the impact of recent initiatives undertaken by the government, local NGOs, seed industry and international agencies like ILO-IPEC, UNICEF and UNDP on the nature and magnitude of the child labour problem in cottonseed production in the state.

Key findings include:

  • compared to 2000-01, the average farm size has declined to 1.52 acres on average
  • the proportion of child labour in the total workforce as well as per acre decreased from about 88% in 2000-01 to 57.4 % in 2003-04, a total of 1,556 children in the age group of 7-14 years worked in these farms, out of which 75.8 % were girls
  • the proportion of child labour in the total workforce varied between 40% to 85% in different regions; it is particularly low in regions where NGO and government initiatives are particularly prominent
  • the employment of children below 10 years has significantly declined
  • the proportion of children involved in debt bondage has slightly decreased from about 90% in 2000-01 to 70%
  • the average daily wage rate paid to the children above 10 years has increased from Rs 18 in 2000-01 to Rs 20 in 2003-04.

The report points out that it is still to early to make any serious estimates for the future. Yet, it is clear that unless serious efforts are made to stop the employment of children at the field level, the situation will be slow in improving.