Taiwan’s agricultural sector expected to recruit more foreign workers soon: COA

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) About 1,300 foreign migrant workers to be employed in Taiwan’s agricultural sector will start arriving in Taiwan over the next two weeks, an official with the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Monday.

Tsai Pei-chun (蔡佩君), an official from COA’s Farmers’ Service Department, told CNA that out of Taiwan’s quota of 2,400 migrant workers for the agricultural sector, just over 1,000 positions have already been filled by workers who have been in Taiwan for years.

About 20 migrant workers hired to work in the sector have arrived in Taiwan since Feb. 15, when Taiwan lifted its entry ban on workers from the Philippines and Vietnam.

Due to quarantine arrangements, however, most of the remaining 1,300 foreign nationals who will work in Taiwan’s agricultural sector will begin arriving in the next two weeks, Tsai said.

Once they arrive, Taiwan will have 1,000 migrant workers employed in animal husbandry, 180 employed in inland fish farms, 920 employed in seasonal work and 300 in agriculture, Tsai said.

Taiwan banned the entry of Indonesian migrant workers in December 2020 in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases imported from the Southeast Asian country.

On May 19, 2021, Taiwan banned the entry of all foreign nationals without residence, including migrant workers, following an unprecedented spike in domestic COVID-19 cases in Taiwan.

Bans on migrant workers from Indonesia and Thailand were lifted on November 11 and December 30 last year, but the number of workers allowed entry was reduced between December 14 and February 14 due to limited quarantine space as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches. .

Bans on migrant workers from the Philippines and Vietnam were lifted on February 15, and Taiwan also began requiring all migrant workers to be fully vaccinated before arriving in the country.

(By Yang Shu-min and Chiang Yi-ching)

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Lana T. Arthur