MGNREGA Creating Agricultural Labor Shortage

There is a story of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq – who has been historically known as the “wise fool”.  He had great ideas – like starting the coins (currency), but soon everyone in his kingdom was printing their own thing.  He taxed the most prosperous region – Doab – the most, in fact so much that it became drought ridden in a few years.

Indian Government of today also is like that “Wise Fool”.  It has started this rural employment program.  First, this program is a failure from financial standpoint due to corruption.

Of whatever amount that even reaches the real people, we have a new issue.  It has created a labor shortage for the agricultural sector.

Besides creating labour shortage in the agriculture sector, cost of farm production increased by up to 20 per cent in Karnataka after the implementation of MGNREGA, the Centre”s flagship programme aimed at alleviating poverty, says a new study.

The study by the Institute for Social and Economic Change here stated that after the implementation of the job scheme, in majority of villages shortage of labour in agriculture was observed during kharif sowing season of July, August and September.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act came into operation in February 2006.

“Majority of the villagers were of the view that after implementation of the scheme, cost of production in agriculture has increased by 10 to 20 per cent because of scarcity of labour,” said the study titled ”Impact of NREGA on Wage Rate, Food Security and Rural Urban Migration in Karnataka (2011).”

Authors of the study, Pramod Kumar, professor and head, Agriculture Development and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC), and I Maruthi of ADRTC of ISEC, said daily wages in the farm sector have also increased by 50 per cent after the implementation of the scheme.

via MGNREGA luring away labour from farm fields: Study.