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Moldovan growers expect worsening labor shortage in 2022

The experts of the Federation of Agricultural Producers of Moldova (FARM) note that after stagnation in 2020, the process of increasing wages for seasonal workers resumed in the fruit growing sector last year. If farms of medium size and average modernization level paid workers hired to harvest fruits, berries and grapes about 200-250 MDL per day ($11-14) in 2020, the range of their daily wages increased to 280- 300 MDL ($16-17) in 2021.

Of course, there were deviations from this level of payment. In particular, many table grapes growers with plantations of the Pergola type paid seasonal workers more than the average – up to 450 MDL ($25) per day in some periods of the season. However, it was also reported that the average level of wages for day workers fell below 200 MDL in some regions. In general, fruit growers noted more complicated hiring of day laborers, even when enterprises were ready to pay more than in 2020.

Given the high inflationary expectations and the outflow of labor migrants that started immediately after the winter holidays, most fruit-growing associations believe the labor shortage to increase this year. But few farmers say they intend to raise wages for full-time and seasonal workers at least by the expected inflation rate of the national currency.

It should be taken into account that many agricultural producers in Moldova consider the low labor productivity of seasonal workers to be a limiting factor in the growth of wages, given their advanced age of the workers available on the domestic market.

EastFruit

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