MGNREGA vs Future of Agriculture: A Study on Bundelkhand Region

MGNREGA vs Future of Agriculture

A Study on Bundelkhand Region: BY-Dr. Sarda Prasad

  1. MGNREGA vs Future of Agriculture: A Study in Bundelkhand Region Sarda Prasad Post Doctoral Fellow Centre for the Study of regional Development (CSRD) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi
  2. Outline of Presentation -Introduction – Overview of MNREGA -Rationale and Locale of Study -Agriculture Labour Demand and Supply Gap among the farmers -Data and Methodology -Impact of MGNREGA – In Agriculture Labour market -Inclusion of MGNREGA into agricultural operations for sustainable agriculture development -Conclusions and - Welcome to Your suggestions and comments for further study
  3. MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) It was launched in 2005 in 200 districts and it spread whole India in 2008. It is Rights based job for 100 days for BPL family in a year with conditions. Impact of MGNREGA is negative and positive in agriculture and rural HHs, and 90 % of MGNRE works are related to agriculture (Jairam Ramesh, 2012). It is one the main reasons of Agril labour shortage and rural out-migration. And it is also solution of labour shortage in agriculture and check rural out- migration. It has increased wage rate in rural areas due to bargaining power of labour. It is one of best socio-economic development programmes so far in India
  4. MGNREGA ...contd It is Rural Labour bank in India (SS Acharya, 2011), it should be organized and regularized for sustainable rural development. MGNREGA is one of the main source for labour supply in agriculture sector, and it is one of the solution to overcome labour shortage in rural areas.  We cannot ignore labour shortage in agriculture for sustainable development. Even would not pre or post pone agricultural operations that is influencing due to labour shortage in agriculture during peak periods.
  5. Rationale of Study We Need - Food+Fibre+Furniture (Roti+Kapada+Makan) - Fuel (Bio-gas, Bio-diesel, Oil) - Fodder & Bio-fertilizer (for & from Animals) - Medicine (Herbals, Homeo, etc) -Others beverages and snacks- Alcohal (Vine, Whisky, Vodka, Rum, Beer), Chips & Kurkure, biscuit and bread, toast, pickles, sauce& ketchup, Jam& Jelly, etc. All these are obtaining from Agriculture Life – Agriculture = Nothing Indian culture should be Agriculture
  6. Agriculture defined as “Growing of crops (group of plants) and rearing of animals for economic purpose” Agriculture consists- Agronomy- crops (Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, millets) Horticulture- Veg, fruits, flower, aromatic & medicinal, mushroom Forestry -Production of timber for furniture Fisheries – Inland and sea Apiculture – Honey bee Poultry – Chicken and eggs Animal Husbandary – dairying, meat production (Mutton, beaf, beafen, pork, chewan, etc.
  7. Agriculture and Labour Relation In India agriculture is labour intensive rather than capital intensive (Low chances of mechanization in agri due to land holding, lack of skilled lab and maintenance cost of machinery) It is the base of raw materials for Agro-industries Tremendous business opportunities- through value of addition of agricultural products. Value addition increased market value of products and enhance shelf-life of products through – sorting, grading, washing, packaging, transporting, storing, etc. of agricultural products.
  8. Value addition has 3 elements – Change the 1-Form of products by Processing (Chips, pickle, jam, bread, butter, toast, flour, paneer, papad, etc.) 2-Time of consumption –Storage 3-Place of consumption – Transportation All these process required many labours in each stages of value addition
  9. In both projects- We have found that “Labour shortage is one of the major constraints in pulse production and adoption of innovation in agriculture”. And another finding was – Human labour cost was higher than other input cost in cost of cultivation of pulse crops, even pulse crop require lesser no. of labour
  10. Requirements of Labour and share of labour cost in cultivation
  11. Table 1:No. of Labour and labour Cost (%) in Cost of cultivation in 2014 Particulars No. of Labour & % Share of Cost of Cultivation in 2013-14 (Rs./ha) Paddy Maize Sorghu m (Jowar) Black gram (Urd) Green Gram (Moon g) Red Gram (Arhar) Ground nut (moong falli) Sesmu m (Till) Cotton Sugarca ne No. of Labour 149 151 56 76 42 65 168 89 268 502 Human Labour 51.50 53.47 58.16 65.48 48.09 56.24 56.59 62.50 68.58 63.43 Animal Labour 1.06 0.00 1.27 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.55 0.00 2.33 1.23 Machine Power 16.48 13.58 16.07 11.39 14.58 11.63 6.21 14.17 6.43 3.59 Seed 10.85 7.71 9.41 9.94 12.41 9.36 16.50 2.96 4.29 14.96 Fertilizers and Manures 14.38 20.40 13.18 9.49 15.33 14.94 12.95 14.41 11.66 8.49 Plant Protection Charges 2.86 1.96 0.00 1.41 7.32 4.45 2.16 3.12 4.43 0.69 Irrigation charges 0.60 0.59 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.24 0.56 0.00 1.07 Interest on working capital 2.28 2.28 1.91 2.28 2.27 3.39 1.79 2.28 2.28 6.54 Operl Cost 74.53 77.81 76.28 78.41 83.83 84.42 83.22 76.39 82.85 72.73 Fixed cost 16.38 13.10 14.63 12.49 7.08 6.49 7.69 14.52 8.06 18.18 Mngl cos (10%) 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 9.09 Total Cost 74039 69508 23912 28125 19823 26083 68128 35741 90002 207699 No. of labour computed= Total labour cost / Wage rate in agri (in Tamilnadu Rs.191/mandays)
  12. Particulars Farm size Small Medium Large Total 1 Human Labour 7978.16 7127.63 6630.63 6864.37 (19.39) (15.65) (13.73) (14.99) (a) Family 3716.64 2000.50 1098.72 1835.47 (9.03) (4.39) (2.28) (4.01) (b) Hired 4261.52 5127.13 5431.91 5088.44 (10.36) (11.26) (11.25) (11.11) 2 Bullock labour 3417.25 2207.91 1648.48 2199.86 (8.31) (4.85) (3.41) (4.80) 3 Tractor/machine charges 1372.72 2870.17 3654.07 2922.51 (3.34) (6.30) (7.57) (6.38) 4 Manures and cakes 582.36 886.13 1055.90 901.75 (1.42) (1.95) (2.19) (1.97) 5 Seed 2463.80 2737.48 3076.31 2837.93 (5.99) (6.01) (6.37) (6.20) 6 Irrigation charges 5710.34 6014.51 6411.52 6135.64 (13.88) (13.21) (13.28) (13.40) 7 Fertilizer 4347.25 5384.03 5877.71 5396.61 (10.57) (11.82) (12.17) (11.79) Particulars Farm size Small Medium Large Total 8 Insecticides/Pesticides 64.73 150.70 233.74 171.38 (0.16) (0.33) (0.48) (0.37) 9 Weedicides 322.92 681.57 820.68 671.50 (0.78) (1.50) (1.70) (1.47) 10 Miscellaneous 242.52 424.24 536.22 438.42 (0.59) (0.93) (1.11) (0.96) 11 Depreciation 717.54 949.74 982.02 916.37 (1.74) (2.09) (2.03) (2.00) 12 Interest on working capital 911.42 1059.35 1149.79 1070.56 (2.22) (2.33) (2.38) (2.34) 13 Interest on fixed capital 358.77 474.87 491.01 458.19 (0.87) (1.04) (1.00) (1.00) 14 Rental value of owned land 8910.59 10427.59 11430.11 10577.46 (21.66) (22.90) (23.67) (23.10) 15 Managerial cost 3740.04 4139.59 4389.82 4162.21 (10.00) (10.00) (10.00) (10.00) 16 Total Cost 41140.42 45535.51 48288.01 45784.31 (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) (100.00) Table 2: Cost of cultivation of Wheat Crop 2013 Total no. of labour required in wheat cultivation 42-46 depending on variety and irrigation
  13. Machine labour and Human labour negatively correlated Relation
  14. Table 3: Labour demand and supply gap in Bundelkhand region, 2011 Crop Agriculture Form* Farmer Hired lab/ Ha (Av) Gap Paddy 149 54 95 Sorghum(Jowar) 56 41 15 Black gram(Urd) 76 37 39 Green Gram(Moong) 42 37 5 Red Gram(Arhar) 65 37 28 Sesmum (Till) 89 21 68 Wheat 42 59 -17 Maize 151 na na Ground nut (moong falli) 168 na na Cotton 268 na na Sugarcane 502 na na
  15. Labours requirement for Field Operations for cultivation 1 Manuring/composting (10-20 tonnes/ha) 9 Disease management -Loading and deloading Mechanical -Spreading Chemical 2 Field preparation 10 Harvesting By plough Manual by tractor Harvester/Combine 3 Improved varieties 11 Threshing 4 Sowing/Transplanting Manual Line sowing Thresher Spreading Bullock paddling Transplanting 12 Cleaning of grain/Seed Tractor/Cultivator Benower 5 Irrigation (If delayed, 5% yield reduced per day) Hand cleaning Flooding 13 Packaging Check basin/bunding/furrow In container Sprinkler/drip in packet/bag 6 Weeding (2 to 4 @15 days interval) 14 Storing Manual Storage/Dumping Mechanical Bags Chemical Containers 7 Fertilizer and quantity (A,B,C,D) 15 Marketing Basal application Local market Folliar application/Spreading Distance market Liquid application (With irrigation water) National/Internal market 8 Insect pest control 12-15 Post harvest management Mechanical Value addition Chemical
  16. Both are processor and monitor of agriculture Cultivator –Manager or supervisor & Agricultural Labour- Actor
  17. Source: Census of India Cultivator - if he or she is engaged in cultivation of land owned or held from Government or held from private persons or institutions for payment in money, kind or share. Cultivation includes effective supervision or direction in cultivation. Cultivation involves ploughing, sowing, harvesting and production of cereals and millet crops such as wheat, paddy, jowar, bajra, ragi, etc., and other crops such as sugarcane, tobacco, ground-nuts, tapioca, etc., and pulses, raw jute and kindred fibre crop, cotton, cinchona and other medicinal plants, fruit growing, vegetable growing or keeping orchards or groves, etc. Cultivation does not include the following plantation crops - tea, coffee, rubber, coconut and betel-nuts (areca). Agricultural Labourers- A person who works on another person's land for wages in money or kind or share is regarded as an agricultural labourer. She or he has no risk in the cultivation, but merely works on another person's land for wages. An agricultural labourer has no right of lease or contract on land on which She/he works.cost of cult wheat.doc\

19. Fig 2: Main Agriculture Work Participation rate (%) 2001 and 2011 Source: Census of India, 2001 and 2011 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00 14.00 Punjab Haryana UP India F_2001 F_2011 M_2001 M_2011 T _2001 T _2011
20. Fig 3: Main Cultivator work participation rate (%) 2001 and 2011 Source: Census of India, 2001 and 2011 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 25.00 Punjab Haryana UP India F_2001 F_2011 M_2001 M_2011 T _2001 T _2011
21. Type of Agriculture Labour 1- Permanent Labour- Employed whole of the year or for six month 2-Causal Labour- for certain periods 3-Contract labours- for harvesting, sowing, weeding, etc. Mode of payment in Agriculture Work -Share of the crop (Kind) -for harvesting and sowing/transplanting (for permanent/Contract and (Most of them prefer) -Cash wage – casual
22. Reasons of Labour shortage and Increasing Wage rate in Agricultural work Both are cause and consequence of each other
23. Main Reasons of Labour shortage in Agriculture Rural out-migration MGNREGA Disinterest of rural youth and farmers  Political influence on labour- SP and BSP in UP Wage differential and duration and nature of agriculture work Available labour not accessible- due to various factors Reasons for Higher Wage rate in Agricultural work -Labour shortage - Supply and Demand factor -MGNREGA Wage rate – Income/earning factor -Migrant households – Time factor (Remittances influence)
24. Reasons of Labour shortage Total Out-Migration 65.8 MGNREGA 71.7 Lack of interest in agriculture work 62.5 Total (N) 360 Statement Total 1 When did labour shortage start Don't know but for 20 year 63.6 1990 36.4 2 Acute labour shortage start From last 20 years 68.9 1990 9.7 1992 0.6 2006 20.8 Total (N) 360 Table 4: Reasons of Labour Shortage in Rural Areas, 2011 in Bundelkhand region Table 5: Labour shortage began in rural areas, 2011 Decisions?? Should MGNREGA stopped to overcome agriculture labour shortage? or It should be continue for sustainable rural development
25. Labour prefer Non Agriculture Work Socially and Psychologically agriculture work considered as inferior profession as- 1- Low scope of skill development 2-Less scope for promotion and better prospectus 3-There is no fixed hours of work 4-The work is irregular –Rush and Less in different periods 5-Some worker do day and night 6-Not permanent 7-No social security measure, no compensation, no pension, no health allowance (Chhina, 1998)
26. Relationship changed between Labour and Landlords According to a high caste farmer who owns a large amount of land “Labourers are now working according to the movement of the clock. They do not bother whether the work is finished or not. In case we do not pay for the incomplete work they threaten to go to the police and file a case against us”. “The SCs were not coming to us for agricultural as well as non-agricultural work, even if we offer them higher wages sometimes. Earlier they were working as bonded labour but they try to also ignore us now-a-days”. An old high caste person stated that “We cannot afford labour during the peak periods because of higher wage rates demanded by the labour (more than Rs. 150 per day) and if we hire labour at this wage rate then our cost of cultivation is higher than the returns from the field. Our sons, daughters and daughter in-laws are now working in the field, who never went out from home. This is very painful for us to see”.
27. A group of youth workers (of SC) mentioned that “We are working for that (particular) farmer, because he provides breakfast, tea, pan masala, and bidi/cigarette. He is also flexible about work and gives wages on time. He respects us, never forces us to work, and has a caring and helpful nature. He lends money without interest whenever we need. He never threatens or cheats. And we don’t want to work high caste farmers those have cheated, discriminated in past to our fore- father under gun point. Even we don’t want their work, if they show their attitude. We know our rights, well aware about the laws of discrimination against us”. The agricultural work cannot be pre or post-pone and all the agricultural work started at the same time for each farmer. Hence, all the farmers required labour at the same time, and it increased higher agricultural labour demand.
28. Impact of labour shortage in Agriculture -Change cropping pattern and intensity- low labour intensive crops & monocrop -Lack of Crop rotation and diversification in agriculture- affect soil fertility -Field operation change- Cannot pre or post pone time of Agril operation -Affect quality and quantity of produce- Ignore post harvest management -Change land market – leased out or remain fallow, may be sold -Soil fertility degraded- avoid manuring and composting into field -Others – Reduce milch animals -Affect health of the farmers and their family member Now, Only MGNREGA can boost agriculture in the region
29. Locale of Study Why Bundelkhand for the study, though this region is not advance in agriculture Mainly four reasons for choosing this region – -Highest proportion of rural out-migrant in total population -Agriculture is main source of livelihood followed remittances -Lesser no. of people of this region are aware about the govt. development schemes. Another reason is highest level of corruption in MGNREGA
30. Region Percentage Distribution of Population and Migrants RTP RTOM RMP RMOM RFP RFOM Western 33 36 34 30 32 44 Central 17 8 17 8 17 7 Eastern 45 50 43 58 46 40 Bundelkhand 5 6 5 5 5 9 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 Table 6: Rural Population and rural out-migrants by sex in Uttar Pradesh, (duration 0-9 years during 1991 to 2001) Note: RTP=Rural total population, RTOM=Rural total out-migrants, RMP=Rural male population, RMOM=Rural male out-migrants, RFP= Rural Female population, RFOM=Rural female out-migrants. Source: Census of India, 2001
31. District Percentage Distribution of Population and Migrants RTP RTOM RMP RMOM RFP RFOM Jalaun 17 15 18 15 17 16 Jhansi 16 24 16 16 16 29 Lalitpur 13 11 13 7 13 14 Hamirpur 14 7 14 9 14 5 Mahoba 9 11 9 10 9 11 Banda 20 28 20 37 20 21 Chitrakoot 11 4 11 5 11 4 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 Table 7: Rural Population and rural out-migrants by sex in Bundelkhand region (duration 0-9 years during 1991 to 2001) Source: Census of India, 2001
32. Objective To find out the causes of Labour shortage in Agriculture  To examine the labour required for cultivation of crop. To list the possible solutions to overcome labour shortage in agriculture for sustainable development. Data and methodology Based on primary data, ICAR Literature and Census 360 farmers have been interviewed from 6 village in two districts of UP. during May to September 2011. Qualitative data have been taken through FGDs.
33. Results Suggestions of the farmer to overcome labour shortage in agriculture- -Inclusion of MGNREGA Labour in Agriculture: Economic affair -Introduction of Cooperative Farming: Socio-economic affair -Mechanization in Agriculture : Economic and technical affair -Use of family member : Female and children (family cooperation) -Hiring of labour from out side of village: Geographic factor/migration Only MGNREGA will be discussed here.
34. How MGNREGA is Feasible in Agriculture Cannot change agricultural operation (Pre or post pone). Timing of agricultural work is same in whole geographic area. MGNREGA can help in Mixed farming- Dairying, Poultry, piggery, fishery, etc. Promote mixed cropping- two are more crops at time in same land Labour intensive cultivation – for more credit, more production and more employment. Promote mechanization and scientific farming Boost income throughCash crop – vegetables, sugarcane, flower, fruits, etc. Increase production of milk and milk products
35. Inclusion of MGNREGA in Agriculture The reports on MGNREGS revision, written by Dr. Mihir Shah, that was released by Mr. Ramesh, on 22nd February, 2012, mentioned that farmers can get 8 man-days per acre for transplantation and another four man-days for weeding in 2 intervals under NREGA scheme free of cost. MGNREGA now changed from old practice of “Jab kaam khulega, tab kaam milega” into “Jab kaam maangenge, tab kaam khulega”. Those farmers are eligible to get NREGA labours, who would adopt System of Rice Intensification (SRI) for maximum 3 years in SRI block. “SRI is an agronomic technique of paddy transplanting in early (8 to 14 days age), followed by alternate wetting and drying irrigation and mechanical weeding (Shah, 2012, p79)”.
36. How MGNREGA helps farmers Regulation of NREGA for Agriculture – Should be Organized for agriculture  List of registered landlord/farmers who need labour List of job card holders who want to work in agriculture Some rules for hiring labours and working durations and conditions Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) should be played role of mediator and managed list of farmers and card holders. The farmers need labour during peak period of agriculture, but not regular, so non agricultural work should stop. Farmers should not get labour free of cost, but they get some subsidy or monetary help from MGNREGA fund. Contd…
37. Wage for NREGA labour for agriculture would be paid by the farmers. Though, the gestation period of the agricultural input is longer and farmer would unable to pay wage on the spot. In this case Panchayat should be paid the wage to the labour.  Whenever the farmers would be able to pay, the panchayat should collect it. In case farmers are unable to pay (the wage) money to the panchayat, except natural hazards, the panchayat would be authorized to take farmers land as much equal to the amount of the wage and that land would be leased out to the other farmers or the labours for a year only. If the crops would be lost due to natural hazards government should be paid or provides subsidy to the farmer (crop insurance). Contd…
38.  Panchayat should arrange registration process and maintain records of NREGA job card holder/labour and labour requiring farmers.  For registration, the farmers should show their land records documents and pay nominal charge for maintenance for a year.  The farmer should also have to pay some money to the panchayat as security, according to number of labour demand before hiring labour.  The registered farmer should get labour bank card as labour has job card. (MGNREGA is Labour bank in rural areas, SS Acharya,2012).  The Panchyat would provide NREGA labour to registered farmers under the agreement.
39. What type of Agreement should be?  The agreement should not be static in nature, hard and fast rule and regulation, but it should be need based and mutual understanding of the farmers and labours.  In case the labour is not interested to work any of the registered farmers’ field panchayat should not be forced to the labour for that, and similarly, if the farmer is not interested to hire anyone of the NREGA labours then panchayat should not force farmers to hire that labour too.  Labour and farmers should be mutually interested on each other and respect each other. Contd…
40.  Farmers (Landlord) should not be insulted to the labour in any forms (physical, emotional, others) and labour should not be left the work till work would not be finished (if time not over 8 hrs).  Labour should be paid full wage for a day, if he/she will spend more than 4 hours in the field/house of the farmer, but, if the labour left the work after 4 hours without consent of the employer (farmer), labour is not eligible to get wage of that period of work.  Any labour is hired for one day only and he/she is free to choose their employer next day.
41. Wage Subsidies to the Farmer  Labour prefers NREGA work over agriculture work, because he can earn Rs. 200- 250 per 3 hours by digging of pits (10 x 6 x 1 feet), but they never earn that much wage from any other work in village.  Farmers are agreeing to pay average Rs. 100/200 per day and rest amount would be subsidy (Half of existing wage rate).  Farmer can get wage subsidies only for agriculture works.  Farmers can also hire labour from panchayat for other than agriculture works such as construction work at the same wage rate.  From this agreement, village panchayat should assure to the farmers to avail the agricultural labour during peak period, and labour to get job with full amount of wage.
42.  The government can increase number of days of NREGA work from 100 to 150 Days, because most of the farmers required 30 to 40 labour per ha depending on crop. That will check distress (Push) rural out-migration. Monitoring  To avoid corruption and irregularities monitoring is must.  Relationship of “I would hire you” and “you would hire me”.  Labour would be availed to registered cultivators/ farmers only not land lord (Who leased out his land)
43. Conclusions  Labours prefer NREGA works over agri work because of wage rate, mode of payment, nature and duration of work.  Sometimes, farmers feel helpless and crying and blaming government policies.  Mechanization in agriculture is an alternate option but it has some limitations such as cost and its maintenance, accessibility and availability of labour on time for all categories of the farmers.  Thus agriculture labour shortage cannot be ignored in agriculture and rural development.  It is government responsibility to providing labours for agricultural works so that it should not be affected negatively.  MGNREGA labour should be involved in agriculture in subsidised wage rates for sustainable agriculture (Future of agriculture).
44. Your comments and suggestions is food for further study- Welcome

Dr. Sarda Prasad
Post Doctoral Fellow
CSRD/JNU, New Delhi