SECTION I - DEVELOPMENTS IN 2005-06
Joint Action Plan for 2005-06 Bayer, Syngenta and Emergent Genetics (Monsanto) in 2005 jointly agreed to implement the following action plan for 2005-06.
Information sharing: Companies agreed to share all relevant information regarding production details, including production sites and lists of farmers producing seed for companies.
No child labour clause in contracts: In the agreements with seed organisers and farmers, companies agreed to include a separate clause clearly prohibiting use of children below 15 years in production activities.
Formation of joint monitoring committees at various levels (State, District and Mandal) with the representatives of companies and NGOs to review the progress of implementation of the action plan. Local level joint committees will do the field inspections and report violations to district and state committees.
Scheme of incentives and disincentives: Companies agreed to implement a scheme of incentives and disincentives to the farmers. Under this scheme several disincentives have been announced for farmers who violate the no-child- labour norm in their agreements with the companies. In the proposed scheme of disincentives, the first-time violation by the farmers will result in issuing a show cause notice by the company. If the farmer continues to violate the no-child- labour norm after a second inspection, the company will cut 10% of procurement price which it agreed to pay to the farmer. For a third-time violation the company will completely reject the seed from the farmers and no future production will be given to them3.
If farmers completely avoid child labour in their farms, under the incentives scheme they will be given a 5% bonus on procurement price. If seed farmers in a particular village come forward to totally eliminate child labour on their farms these companies will reward the entire village by financially supporting educational infrastructural needs of the village like constructing a school building, supplying educational material etc.
3 With regard to implementation of different clauses in disincentives scheme the commitment of Bayer was clear. Though Monsanto clearly committed for blacklisting and cancellation of future contracts with farmers who found using children, with regard to imposing 10% price cut its commitment was vague. It stated that it would first try to educate the farmers on this clause and depending upon the situation it will use its discretion whether or not to implement this.