A new report has confirmed the value of migrant workers to horticulture’s profitability and productivity, finding that seasonal migrant workers and backpackers provide on-farm benefits.
The study has been carried out by Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences and commissioned by the World Bank.
The National Farmers Federation says it provides statistical evidence that migration labour programs are crucial to easing the horticulture sector’s labour woes.
The release of the new data was timely, coming as the NFF hosted members of the Fijian Government to discuss their mutual support for and requirements of the seasonal worker program.
The report does suggest though, that the programs would benefit from further streamlining allowing businesses to operate efficiently and cost effectively while also maintaining safeguards for a vulnerable workforce.
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