Taiwan: Ministries agree to expand agricultural migrant worker program

Focus Taiwan

The Ministry of Labor (MOL) has agreed to a proposal by the Council of Agriculture (COA) to increase the number of agricultural migrant workers from 6,000 to 12,000 and relax the required ratio of local to migrant workers on individual farms to 1:1.

Paul Su, head of the Workforce Development Agency's Cross-Border Workforce Management Division under the MOL, said on Monday that the ministries reached a consensus on the issues at a meeting last month, but he did not specify when the changes would take effect.

According to COA data, 5.3 percent of farms in Taiwan reported shortages of seasonal workers in 2021, while 1.2 percent reported shortages of full-time workers.

COVID-19 related border controls likely contributed to the shortages by making it harder to bring in new foreign workers, Su said, noting that in 2020, around 6,000 migrant workers who left their original employers illegally were found working on Taiwanese farms.

While the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions has helped mitigate this problem, the COA has sought to expand the agricultural migrant worker program to ensure that farms have sufficient access to labor, Su said.

At a meeting in March, the COA proposed -- and received the MOL's backing -- to increase the number of migrant workers in the agricultural sector from 6,000 to 12,000, with the new hires expected to come primarily from Vietnam and Indonesia.

At the same time, the ministries agreed to revise a rule that requires farms to employ two Taiwanese workers for every migrant worker they want to hire, replacing it with a 1:1 local to migrant worker ratio.

The COA has argued that the current policy places an undue burden on small, family-operated farms, in which family members frequently split their time between farm work and other part-time jobs.

Read more here.


You may also like

Tran Cong Thang Vice Director General Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development No.16- Thuy Khue Street- Hanoi- Vietnam   Tel: 84-4-37282590   (Article 3. Decision No. 1956/QD-TTg) With target of annually training for about 1 million rural...
Abstract Agriculture was once an engine in the economic growth of Thailand. However, the employment in agricultural sector has been declining and the dependence of economy on agriculture has declined since a few decades ago. Thailand has transformed to be an industrialized country from an...
ABSTRACT Korean agriculture has traditionally been maintained in the form of collaborative labor among the villagers and labor exchanges in families and rural villages. However, as economic development progresses, the proportion of family labor, joint labor and labor exchange of rural community...