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Taiwan to add more migrant workers to its agricultural sector

Around 1,300 overseas migrant workers to be employed in Taiwan's agricultural sector will begin arriving in Taiwan over the next two weeks, an official from the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Monday.

Tsai Pei-chun, an official at the COA's Department of Farmers' Service, told CNA that of Taiwan's quota of 2,400 migrant workers for the agricultural sector, just over 1,000 slots have already been filled by workers who have been in Taiwan for years.

Around 20 migrant workers contracted 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.

Because of quarantine-related arrangements, however, most of the remaining 1,300 foreign nationals set to work in Taiwan's agricultural sector will begin to arrive over the next two weeks, Tsai said.

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

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

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

The bans on migrant workers from Indonesia and Thailand were lifted on Nov. 11 and Dec. 30 last year, but the number of workers allowed in were reduced between Dec. 14 and Feb. 14 due to limited quarantine space approaching the Lunar New Year holidays.

The bans on migrant workers from Philippines and Vietnam were lifted Feb. 15, and Taiwan also began requiring all migrant workers to be fully vaccinated before arriving in the country. -Central News Agency

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