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Importation of agricultural workers not likely soon: ministry

Importation of agricultural workers not likely soon: ministry

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) A proposal by Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji to try out the importation of agricultural workers is not likely to get off the ground next year as there are many aspects of the relevant regulations that need to be sorted out, the Labor Ministry said Wednesday. Details such as which agricultural sectors should be opened to foreign labor, how many workers should be recruited, and other related issues are still unclear and could take a while to figure out, the Labor Ministry said. It also said that further appraisal of the country's foreign labor policy would be required since the importation of agricultural workers would affect the structure of Taiwan's labor market. Under the current cross-Taiwan Strait policy framework, it is impossible to bring in farm workers from China, the labor ministry said. The ministry said it will hold a meeting on foreign labor policy on Oct. 14, however, when related discussions are encouraged. At a hearing in the Legislature's Economics Committee earlier in the day, Chen said it had become necessary for Taiwan to start importing agricultural workers and that such a step would be taken on a trial basis next year. Taiwan has developed a problem of manpower shortage in the agricultural sector, not because of a lack of funds to hire workers, but because so few people want to work the land, he said. "If we start this (importation) on a trial basis now, we will know how to make adjustments so that agricultural production can proceed more smoothly," Chen said. The government "will not rule out the possibility" of importing farm workers from China, he added. (By Chang Ming-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-05-09 07:45 GMT+08:00