Digging wells and ploughing fields are the most paying jobs for men in rural India in the farm sector, says the latest report compiled by the Labour Bureau of the Union Ministry for Labour and Employment.
Kerala is topping the list of daily wages that are paid to well diggers and ploughers among all the states, says the report compiled till September 2006. While ploughing attracted a daily wage of Rs 244.14 per day, well diggers got Rs 215.45 at the end of a day's work in the fields of Kerala.
Among women workers in the agricultural sector the situation is different. Not only are their average wages lower then men, they got paid most for harvesting work. Among states, Himachal Pradesh paid women the most for harvesting.
"In case of women, harvesting was the highest paid occupation with an all-India average daily wage of Rs 56.22. Women in Himachal Pradesh received as much as Rs 121 as daily wage for harvesting. Transplanting and threshing were the other better paid occupations, which provided a daily average wage of Rs 54.37 and Rs 53.59 respectively," the report said.
Herdsmen, or those who tend to animals and take them out for grazing, get the worst deal. The situation is bad for both the men and women doing this job. "The least average daily wage of Rs 42.51 was paid to herdsmen while female counterparts received an even lower wage of Rs 33.01."
The report covered a number of agriculture-based occupations including sowing, weeding, cane crushing, picking (includes of picking of cotton balls/seeds, pods, jute stalks, tea leaves among other things)