ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Sugar- Ceiling Becomes Floor

very pattern of agricultural development. The use of high-yielding seeds together with modern inputs, mainly chemical fertilisers, has brought about appreciable increases in production, albeit only in relatively small parts of the country and on large farms. Also, given the sharp rise in prices of inputs like fertilisers, costs of cultivation have been going up, so that market prices of foodgrains have to be continuously rising in order to sustain the profitability of cultivation. At the same time, the incomes of the overwhelming majority of the rural population, consisting of landless labourers, tenant farmers and small cultivators have not gone up with the increase in agricultural production. A recent study has brought out that minimum wages laws for agricultural workers are still observed more in their breach and, even more significantly, that even if the minimum wages fixed by law were actuallypaid, the resultant incomes would still keep agricultural labourers below the poverty line in all states with the exception of Punjab. The Rural Labour Enquiry conducted by the Union Labour Ministry had similarly brought out that between 1964-65 and 1974-75 the average number of days of wage employment in agricultural operations available to members of agricultural labour households had actually declined from 208 to 185 for men and from 138 to 129 for women. And the average daily earnings of agricultural workers, after correcting for price increase, had declined from Rs 1.43 in 1964-65 to Rs 1.26 in 1974-75 in the case of men and from Re 0.95 to Re 0.88 in that of women.

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