Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Dr Ibrahim Mughal has urged the government to pay wages to agricultural labourers in commensurate with the wages being given to industrial workers besides ensuring health and education facilities to them and their families. Talking to media persons, here on Tuesday he said that 21 million labourers are attached with the agricultural sector out of the total 43 million workers in the country.
He said out of these 40 percent are women, 50 percent male and 10 percent children who are working in the fields and other related places. He said the government should pay attention towards this important sector. He said agricultural workers earn Rs 7,000 per month only while he works 12 hours a day and nobody cares about his health or education. He said female workers work side-by-side of their male counterparts in the fields but they only get Rs 5,000 per month. He said these workers work throughout the year without caring about rain, sun, cold or heat as otherwise they have to suffer hunger.
Mughal said that these workers not only sow crops but also pick cotton, harvest other crops, irrigate the fields, cut fodder for the animals and other such works to earn their livelihood. He said they are producing wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, fruits, milk, meat and eggs for the masses. However, he regretted that 47 percent of this population of the country is not taken care of by any government department because of which they are not leading life like a common worker of the urban areas. He said many of these suffer serious illnesses including malnutrition and under-nourishment even in their prime youth.
He, once again, appealed to the government to take care of this important segment of the population and provide them incentives and facilities at part with their colleagues in the industrial sectors.