A demonstration by migrant farmworkers that started in San Severo and went to Foggia, protesting against labor exploitation in agriculture | Photo: ANSA/Franco Cautillo
A demonstration by migrant farmworkers that started in San Severo and went to Foggia, protesting against labor exploitation in agriculture | Photo: ANSA/Franco Cautillo

According to the Italian Farmers' Association, foreigners make up over one third of the 900,000 agricultural workers in Italy. The association has been looking at improving its members’ migratory policies and allow for a more stable hiring culture in agriculture. The farmers’ association is also hoping to fight some illegal practices particularly prevalent across southern Italy.

Italian agriculture continues to create new jobs, including for migrants. With an additional 25,000 foreign workers this year for a total of 370,000 foreign farmworkers in Italy, foreigners make up more than one third of the total number of 900,000 agricultural workers in the country, according to the Italian Farmers' Association (CIA).

The information is based on data from the 2019 Immigration Statistical Dossier presented last Thursday by the IDOS Study and Research Centre.

Significant manual labor in Italian agriculture

Foreign manual labor continues to be a significant part of the entire agricultural sector in Italy, said the CIA, which also stated that the data confirmed how much of farming has become multiethnic.

Now, however, the CIA feels there is a need to improve migratory policies and stabilize hiring in agriculture. They want to start implementing "serious and efficient" policies prioritizing work and integration.

'Quality Labor Network' implemented

On Thursday, a meeting was held at the Reggio Calabria prefecture with Prefect Massimo Mariani in order to implement the territorial section of the Quality Agricultural Labor Network across the province of Reggio Calabria.

"The implementation of the territorial section of the Quality Agricultural Labor Network marks the start of [the] diffusion of legality in the agricultural sector," Mariani said.

"It's an efficient tool for strengthening actions to fight the illegal [practicies in] agriculture, and in particular, under-the-table labor [offers] and gangmasters," he added.

Mariani called the network the "appointed place to elaborate concrete proposals to improve and make more efficient the meeting of supply and demand in jobs." Moreover, the network hopes to improve transportation for workers to the farms and provide a "reception system" for seasonal workers that went "beyond emergency solutions," Mariani said.

 

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