With the global economy under shambles, immigrant farm workers in Canada who have opted this as a temporary source of income panic that even their last hope of staying in the country will be gone.
Farm work is a never-ending process and requires workers throughout sowing till harvesting. Although the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (FARMS) is happy about the new arrival of immigrant workers, farms are skeptical that they may leave immediately after the economy looks up and they get employment opportunities of their choice.
Though initially Jobs for Farm Workers were shut off- Now their absence is being felt
The federal government had initially shut the doors for immigrant laborers willing to work on farm lands, but are now welcoming them from across the globe. It has, in fact, ordered for financial assistance for farmers who are hiring them.
While FARMS is happy about the government’s initiative toward them, it is skeptical about government incentivizing farm work.
Ken Forth, President of FARMS said he is against this idea because farmers need a reliable supply of labour from planting till harvest and he worries about the outcome after the lockdown is over and the economy bounces back in shape.
He was reported as saying, “What do we do when they go back to work in July? Some crops cost as much as $10,000 a hectare to plant. No farmer can afford to put that crop in and then see it go unharvested due to a lack of workers.”
Farm Workers may not be Covid-infected
Meanwhile, there is another thing to consider. Canadians fear that these workers will bring COVID with them, but Forth disagrees. Speaking to the media he said who these workers are serious about their jobs and do not leave the farm at all, unlike local workers who go back home at the end of the day. The latter are more vulnerable to exposure. The immigrants have come here to earn money and not to socialize and therefore tend to do whatever they doing with utmost seriousness.
As per internal reports, these immigrants have been on self-quarantine after arriving in Canada. They have acted responsibly and will continue to do the same