Human Costof Sugar - Living and Working Conditions of Migrant Cane-cutters in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is the second largest sugar producing state of India and is known for its high efficiency. The sector relies on informal workers, migrating from drought-prone Marathwada region, working as cane-cutters. Living and working conditions of these workers are exploitative, which keep them in a vicious circle of poverty and indebtedness. Women and children face the hardest brunt of these exploitative conditions with basic rights and dignity denied. This paper is an attempt to highlight the systemic issues in the Maharashtra sugar supply chain to trigger discussions and action from key stakeholders.