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Rural Migration Blog

September 2020

Farm Workers in Mexico and Turkey

Mexico and Turkey had gross national incomes (GNI) of less than $10,000 per capita in 2019, according to the World Bank. Mexico’s GNI per capita was twice Turkey’s in 2002, fell behind Turkish GNI after 2008, and was slightly less in 2019, when GNI per capita was $9,430 in Mexico and $9,610 in Turkey. Mexico’s GNI per capita rose 50 percent in the first two decades of the 20th century, while Turkey’s GNI per capita more than doubled.

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Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program

Australia has about 75,000 workers employed in seasonal fruit and vegetable jobs, including 12,000 who arrive as guest workers under the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP). The goals of the SWP are to fill jobs lasting up to nine months in Australia and to promote development in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu plus Timor-Leste by allowing workers from these places to earn high Australian wages.

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The CAW at 30

The Commission on Agricultural Workers (CAW) was created in Section 304 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 to answer nine farm labor questions, including how IRCA's Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) legalization program and IRCA's employer sanctions affected US farm workers and farm employers. CAW also dealt with farm labor questions not linked directly to IRCA, such as whether agriculture relies on a temporary workforce and whether farm employers have trouble finding US workers because they do not use modern labor-management techniques.

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Migrant Farm Workers in Greece, Italy and Spain

The agricultural systems of Greece, Italy, and Spain produce many of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by local residents and Northern Europeans. Most farms are small and farmers are aging, but there are also large farms that hire foreign workers to produce fruits and vegetables, such as the “sea of plastic” covering fruit and vegetable farms in southeastern Spain.

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