Farmers fear reduced food production in Norway due to lack of foreign workers

Tractor carrotsPhoto: Carina Johansen / NTB

One in four Norwegian farmers plans to reduce production this year due to a shortage of labor, a new survey shows.

With the strict entry rules introduced by the government on January 29, it is uncertain whether producers of vegetables, fruit, and berries – so-called vegetable producers – will have sufficient labor in place in time, newspaper Klassekampen writes.

In a normal season, around 18,000 foreign seasonal workers come to Norway to work in agriculture. Among these are 3,000 from countries outside the EEA area.

Last week, the Norwegian Farmers’ Association conducted a survey among farmers who receive production subsidies for green production. 

More than half, 53% of those surveyed, say they are dependent on getting people in place for the start of the season, no later than May 1. Only 51% of the major producers expect to produce as usual this year.

Great uncertainty

Astrid Solberg, head of organization and emergency manager at the Norwegian Farmers’ Association, says the survey shows great uncertainty among Norwegian farmers.

“There is a great deal of concern among ‘green’ producers about whether they will get enough labor this year. The consequence of reduced production can be higher prices,” she warned.

Solberg says that the Norwegian Farmers’ Association is now working with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) to recruit Norwegians to work in agriculture.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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