Foreign Students Volunteer to Help Farmers in Peak Harvest|彌補農忙人力短缺 大學生組農業生力軍

Taiwan faces the shortage of agricultural labor especially during peak harvest season. Students from MingDao University in Taiwan's Changhua County have organized their own team of volunteers to lend a helping hand.

A group of young students plowing fields under the sun. Some of them are foreign students from Eswatini, Taiwan's diplomatic ally in South Africa.

(Where are you from?) We're from Eswatini. (From Eswatini?) Yes. (What are you guys doing here?) We are helping Taiwan's farmers.

Some students are busy tilling the soil while others are harvesting cabbages. This group of students are volunteers from MingDao University. The team consists of local students as well as 42 foreign students.

Originally, I wanted only to get a few students to form the team. Then I found out that we don't have enough stamina (for the tasks in the field). I then sought out some athletes to join my team. Many in the field are athletes.

The convener of the team said that he started by helping the farmers in Xizhou Township, and more and more students joined his effort along the way. The university said that, although Taiwan's agricultural industry is gradually becoming more and more specialized, it still needs a large number of short-term workers during peak seasons.

(The harvesting of) leafy vegetables brings peak demand for short-term workers, the demand is seasonal. We hope that the students from programs related to the agricultural industry could help local farmers.

Unless someone has a dedicated team to help them with harvest, it's hard to find help.

The university said that they provide these students with insurance and job opportunities in accordance to their agreement with the Council of Agriculture. It also said that they pay foreign students who participate in the effort with proper wages enough to cover their daily expenses.

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