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Taiwan to ease restrictions on farms hiring migrant workers

Employment of migrant workers in agriculture possible solution to labor shortage in rural areas

A man is picking fruit at a farm. (gettyimages photo)

A man is picking fruit at a farm. (gettyimages photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Labor (MOL) recently amended legislation to allow farms that grow fruits, vegetables, grains, orchids, livestock, or seafood to hire migrant workers, with up to 1,600 jobs available for application.

In the face of labor shortage on farms as well as aging populations in agricultural towns and cities, the ministry is easing restrictions on hiring migrant workers by expanding the number of businesses eligible for hiring migrant workers, including those that cultivate dairy products, orchids, edible mushrooms, vegetables, and other crops.

Livestock, aquatic farming, and slaughterhouse operations will also be permitted to hire migrant workers after the new rule takes effect in mid-July.

An MOL official told Taiwan News that each farm can employee migrant workers for up to 35 percent of its workforce, but the new rule will implement a cap of 1,600 jobs on the foreign laborers to preserve employment opportunities for local workers.

However, according to government figures, the shortage of regular and temporary workers on farms on the new eligible list amounts to 7,484 and 120,000 unfilled positions, respectively. The official said the ministry encourages farmers to introduce machines to shore up production.

Updated : 2021-07-25 22:52 GMT+08:00