Alarm for Italy harvest without extension of migrant permits

Coldiretti asks minister Lamorgese for response to producers

09 August, 09:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, AUG 9 - The organization of Italian agricultural producers Coldiretti has sounded the alarm for the harvest season in Italy. The harvest of grapes, fruit and vegetables is at risk without an extension of stay permits for foreign seasonal workers who are already in the country, Coldiretti said on August 5.

    Without an extension of stay permits for foreign seasonal workers already present in Italy, the harvest season is at risk, the organization of Italian agricultural producers Coldiretti warned on August 5. Entrepreneurs could in fact lack manpower at a very delicate moment for the harvest of wine grapes, fruit and vegetables while the hypothesis of a Green Pass vaccine passport is being discussed for the workplace. The alarm was launched by the president of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini, in a letter to Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese to ask for immediate action to respond to the need of producers during a key season for the agricultural sector Extension of expired permits at least until Dec. 31 requested Prandini said it was necessary to extend permits that expired on July 31 at least until December 31, 2021 to prevent many workers from being forced to return to their home country. They are mostly seasonal qualified workers who have been employed for years in Italy, becoming indispensible for many Italian producers and forming friendships in many cases, he said.

    Decree on migration flows to be moved up In order to reassure producers, the president of Coldiretti also wrote to the minister, it is also important to bring forward the publication of the decree on migration flows for 2021 to allow the presentation, at the beginning of September, of requests for seasonal jobs as well as requests for the conversion of seasonal permits. The two measures are necessary to prevent the risk that unscrupulous people could infiltrate the agricultural labor market and take advantage of the difficult situation experienced by companies, also caused by the pandemic, he said.

    In Italy, over one-fourth of national products have been picked by foreign hands, with 368,000 workers coming from 155 countries that found regular employment in agriculture, providing 29% of the total workdays necessary to the sector.

    (A foreign farmhand in Calabria. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/ANSA/ QUOTIDIANO DEL SUD). (ANSAmed).

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