Taipei Taiwan is expanding the number of migrant workers local farm operators can hire on a trial basis this year, allowing them to work in different areas of the agriculture sector, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Tuesday.
The limit is being raised from 800 people to 2,400 for the year, and expanded to include sectors other than dairy farming, such as land based aquaculture and animal husbandry poultry, hogs and cattle.
Migrant workers will also be allowed to work in more specific areas of farming, including orchid, edible mushroom and vegetable cultivation, according to the COA's Department of Farmers' Service.
In an effort to address the country's farm labor shortage, last April the Ministry of Labor (MOL) launched a trial program allowing Taiwanese dairy farms to employ foreign skilled workers from developing economies.
Earlier this month, the first batch of seven farm workers from Thailand started work on local dairy farms, making them the first such workers to be employed in Taiwan's agricultural sector, according to the COA.
The department said so far both Thailand and the Philippines have agreed to allow their workers to take up employment in Taiwan's agricultural sector after reviewing sample employment contracts provided by Taiwan's labor ministry.
In order to protect migrant workers' rights, the source countries require employment contracts to be verified before allowing their workers to work abroad, according to the MOL.
Meanwhile, authorities in Taiwan are still in talks with counterparts in Vietnam and Indonesia, the department said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel