season was roughly estimated at 30,000 (16,000 in AP, 9,000 in Tamilnadu and 5,000 in Karnataka). Out of these 30,000 acres, nearly 10% of area was under direct production control of Monsanto and Bayer7.
Table 1: Cottonseed production area (acres) 2006-07- (Bayer and Monsanto)
rabi 138.5 0
Note: the figures mentioned in the table indicate only the production area directly controlled by Monsanto and Bayer.
IMPLEMENTATION Taking the lessons from last season’s experience, Bayer began implementing its action plan in Andhra Pradesh in March 2006, well before the commencement of the current season8. Bayer has identified its growers in March and conducted awareness meetings with them. Written agreements were taken from farmers stating that they will not use child labour in their farms. Monsanto began this process very late in June, just before the start of the season.
Both companies did this exercise in Andhra Pradesh but not in other states. Monsanto stated that for the current season their main focus would be on Andhra Pradesh and in the coming season it will be extended to other states. Bayer has also outsourced production in Karnataka, and Monsanto in Tamilnadu. In 2006-07 Bayer out sourced production in Karnataka both in kharif and rabi seasons- kharif season in Gajendraghed area and Rabi season in Kolar area. In the beginning of kahrif season in Gajendraghed area Bayer did not clearly specify its policy to the growers. In the written contracts with growers in Karnataka, Bayer included only a general clause of ‘no child labour’ and did not specify incentives and disincentives. In the August state level steering committee meeting of the CCP, when this dual policy of the company for AP and Karnataka was pointed out, Bayer company management stated that they will correct it and implement the same policy in Karnataka. In Kolar area also where company gave production in rabi season it could not clearly inform the farmers well in advance about its no child labour policy as it did in AP.
Since 2005 both companies have been talking about the `preferred village concept` which means concentrating production in a few villages with the same group of farmers. This enables the companies to do better monitoring of the fields. However, both the
7 If we include the production area covered by Monsanto’s sub licensees and Bayer`s partner the total percentage of area directly and indirectly controlled by Monsanto and Bayer in 2006-07 in AP, Karnataka and Tamilnadu was around 65 % (20,000 out of 30,000 acres).
During 2005-06 season the company failed to clearly communicate its policy to the growers well in
advance, before farmers entered seasonal agreements with labourers.