to take all the necessary steps to eliminate the child labour from the farms producing seed exclusively for Bayer.
Monsanto’s action plan Like Bayer, Monsanto also has both direct and indirect involvement in cottonseed production and marketing in India. The direct involvement of Monsanto in cottonseed production activity began in 2005-06 with the acquisition of Emergent Genetics in March 20056. The indirect involvement of the company is through Mahyco (Monsanto holds a 26% share) and Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Limited (MMB) which is a 50:50 joint venture company between Mahyco and Monsanto). While Mahyco is directly involved in cottonseed production, MMB is a ’’BT gene’’ licensing company which does not directly involve in seed production. MMB has sub-licensed BT cotton gene to several seed companies in India including leading Indian companies like Nuziveedu, Ankur, Raasi and Tulasi.
In April 2006 at the state level steering committee meeting of CCP, Monsanto announced its action plan for the elimination of child labour in the 2006-07 crop season. The action plan includes the continuation of efforts initiated by Monsanto in 2005-06: joint monitoring of fields, an incentive and disincentive scheme and child labour rehabilitation programme with Naandi. With regard to incentives and disincentives Monsanto clearly stated that its current year policy slightly deviates from its previous year policy. As an incentive to the farmers who completely avoid using child labour, it agreed to pay an extra Rs.15 per Kg (4.8%) on top of the procurement price. The company will not impose any financial penalties on those farmers who violate the norm of `no child labour` but simply blacklist them for next year’s production.
With regard to the applicability of the company’s `no child labour policy` to its subsidiaries, joint ventures and sub-licensees Monsanto stated that it will first try to implement the policy within the company where it has direct control over the production and evaluate the possibility of including its joint ventures and sub-licensees. It also stated that the company adopted a global policy on Human Rights only in April 2006 and it is now in the process of understanding the issues and looking for solutions.
Area under cottonseed production in 2006-07 In June 2006 Monsanto and Bayer shared information regarding their production sites where they have direct control. According to their information Monsanto produced cottonseed in 3003 acres, out which 2213 acres were in Andhra Pradesh and 790 acres were in Tamilnadu. Bayer produced cottonseed in 281 acres, out of which 61 acres were in AP and 220 acres (81.5 in Kharif and 138.5 in Rabi season) were in Karnataka. The total cotton seed production area in AP, Karnataka and Tamilnadu for 2006-07 crop
6 Monsanto also purchased Delta and Pineland company in June 2007 which has some presence in India (Delta and Pineland purchased Vikki Agro tech and Syngenta`s cottonseed business in 2006).