Linking Sugarcane Farmers With Social Security Schemes

Linking Sugarcane Farmers With Social Security Schemes

Oxfam India's Power of Voices Project (PvP) aims to ensure rights of informal sector worker specifically those engaged in sugar value chain. As part of the PvP initiative to build a responsible sugar supply chain, a comprehensive survey was conducted with over 6500 individuals from 60 villages across three districts—Meerut,  Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur—Uttar Pradesh. The intent of conducting this study was to set the tone and build an understanding of the key issues pertaining to sugarcane farmers.

Read Survey Findings: Building A Responsible Sugar Supply Chain 

"The aim of the survey done in January, earlier this year, was to understand whether they have access to social protection schemes mainly related to food, health and employment," said Ranjana Das. She leads the Private Sector Engagement work at Oxfam India. 

Once the survey was completed, Oxfam India started working with these surveyed small holder sugarcane farmers to make the required linkages for the social benefit schemes. "Through regular meetings and awareness sessions, in the last couple of months has able to reach out to a large number of farmers linking them to various schemes such as MGNREGA, e-Shram, PDS, Widow Pension, and Ayushman Bharat," she added. 

The box below gives the complete picture of the mainstreaming done till date:-

Building a responsible sugar chain

 

To recap, the PVP initiative aims to ensure rights of informal sector worker specifically those engaged in sugar value chain through awareness building and knowledge support to improve their livelihoods and working conditions. The intervention also aims to to hold government and private sector accountable with regard to protection of workers and farmers rights and provision of protection mechanism for all. It also aims to promote more sustainable, inclusive and resilient agriculture trade and value chain that promote grassroots women’s rights and economic empowerment.

India is the second largest sugar producer in the world; Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra together contributes above 60% of total produce in the country. It is therefore of utmost importance to engage with rights of formal farm workers and small scale farmers. Their rights are not protected by legislation and regulations and they are often excluded from basic services and government support, which is mostly directed at large firms and export commodities. 

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