Twenty years ago, Renukamma Umapathi and her husband grew just a few crops on the family’s 1.5 hectares of land in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Despite the entire family working their fields, including her children, earnings were not enough to pay school fees.
To boost her family’s income, she converted part of the land to seed production for Syngenta. In 2006, she participated in a training program initiated by Syngenta and the Fair Labor Association on the eradication of child labor, workers’ rights, and issues of health and safety. She was encouraged to send her children to school.
Since then, her children have graduated and her business has grown – the higher income has enabled her to double the size of her land and renovate and furnish the family home. Renukamma is now a trusted employer in her community, motivating others to adopt standards of fair labor and safety measures, including the use of protective equipment and safe storage practices.
“Syngenta has been a stepping stone for my family. They have helped me to get the best from our farm - and now my son wants to achieve the same,” she says.