Taiwan to import more than 300 migrant workers for farm jobs

Labor shortages frequently occur during harvesting season

Council of Agriculture photo

Council of Agriculture photo

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan will see the arrival of the first batch of migrant laborers who will be working on farms on a short-term basis starting later this month.

The measure was implemented following the Ministry of Labor's relaxation of rules governing imported labor in April to address the seasonal manpower shortage experienced in the agricultural sector.

As of Sept. 4, the Council of Agriculture has received 106 applications, 22 of which have been approved. This means more than 300 workers from other countries will be taking up on-farm jobs in Taiwan this year, reported the Central News Agency.

In addition, a group of 54 youths from Indonesia will work as interns at 45 farms in Taiwan starting in September as part of a bilateral agricultural exchange program. The participants, who have degrees in agriculture-related fields, will receive a monthly allowance of US$600 (NT$18,758) during their stay in the country, said the report.

An assessment of the pilot program will be conducted to serve as a reference for similar policies to be carried out next year. Whether or not the scale of the imported labor force will be expanded for the island’s agricultural sector next year will hinge on the results of the 2019 program.