Cotton farmers in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan are seeking more payment for their produce in order to follow the Government’s directive of not allowing children to pick cotton from fields.
The Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyayev, has issued an order banning the use of child labour for cotton picking. The Prime Minister has instead stressed on the need to encourage grown-ups to get involved in cotton harvesting.
Cotton growers in southern Uzbekistan are now demanding an increase in payment so they can employ grown-ups to harvest cotton.
They argue that people are going in hordes to pick up cotton in neighbouring Kazakhstan and if similar payment is made they would instead pluck cotton in their own country.
Mr. Mirziyayev’s order stated that a cotton picker will be given one kg of cotton cooking oil as a bonus for each 100 kg of cotton picked. But the cotton pickers contend that it would be better if the authorities pay them 200 Uzbek soms in cash for every single kg of cotton in lieu of payments in kind.
At present, farmers pay 150 soms to a cotton picker for each kg of cotton plucked. However, cotton pickers only receive 125 soms as the remaining amount is deducted under various heads like transport services, income tax and pension fee.
Uzbekistan is the third largest cotton exporter and fifth biggest cotton producer in the world. The country’s 95 percent of cotton fibre is collected by hands.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India