A whopping 50% rise in farm labor costs in two years
It is common knowledge that inflation in food prices has made life difficult for everyone in the last few years. However it is not common knowledge that the cost to the producers has been much higher.
The daily wage rates for agricultural operations have seen a huge increment in most states during 2009 and 2010 as per the data compiled by the Labor Bureau at Shimla. Andhra Pradesh, for instance, has seen farm wage rates – the average taken for ploughing, sowing, weeding, transplanting and harvesting operations – going up 40.3 per cent in 2009 and 27.8 per cent in 2010. Similarly in other states, in the last year alone, the price of agricultural labor has gone up from 15 to 20 per cent in Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, 32 per cent in Punjab, and 43 per cent in Orissa.
The Labor Bureau’s data, compiled on a monthly basis, are based on primary information collected from 600 sample villages over 20 states. They cover wage payments both in cash as well as kind, with the latter valued at the prevailing local retail prices.