First seven migrant farm workers start work in Taiwan

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) The first batch of seven migrant farm workers introduced into Taiwan have recently started work on local farms, many of which are deeply troubled by an acute manpower shortage.

The seven workers from Thailand, all newcomers to Taiwan, are working on local tea, vegetable and dairy farms that need greater workforces in winter — making them the first such workers to be employed in Taiwan’s agricultural sector, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Wednesday.

They are allowed to take jobs on Taiwanese farms thanks to a policy change in May last year that permits agriculture-related nongovernmental organizations to apply for the entry of migrant workers to help cope with the long-running manpower shortage facing the local agricultural sector.

After the qualified migrant workers enter Taiwan, the NGOs then introduce them to local farms that need to boost their work forces, the COA explained.

The migrant workers hired to work on local tea, dairy and vegetable farms will each receive a basic monthly wage of NT$23,800 (US$793), plus overtime pay, the COA said.

In the near future, more migrant farm workers will be brought from Vietnam and Indonesia to help address the manpower shortage once talks on contract arrangements have been finalized, it added.

Taiwan currently has more than 700,000 migrant workers, most of whom are employed in construction, in factories, or as domestic helpers, according to data from the Ministry of Labor.

Source: Focus Taiwan
Published on 5 February 2020

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