August 27, 2021

Labour shortage – New agricultural visa to be offered in September 2021


COVID-19 travel restrictions have drawn a spotlight to a problem in the Australian agricultural sector – labour shortages. Although it may prove to be the catalyst the sector needs to come up with a solution, increasingly producers seek technology and mechanisation to fill the gap.

Exposure to the reality of labour shortages has spurred the whole agricultural sector down the road towards technology and mechanisation. Businesses are increasingly finding ways to either reduce labour or attract labour. Some examples from current investments include:

Although well on the way towards reducing exposure to labour markets, labour availability remains central to reaching the agricultural sector’s target of $100 billion in value by 2030. An increased flow of labour will result in higher efficiency, better skill-matching and greater productivity.

It is hoped that the new agriculture visa will also pave the way for migrants to settle in regional communities. It is understood permanent residency pathways and regional settlement is being considered as part of the program.

Cropping industries will be particularly pleased with this new ag visa development. More labour will be welcomed from the broadacre cropping sector to the labour-intensive fruit and veg industries. The sector hopes to see skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers on farms just in time for the Christmas rush.

There have been no changes to the portfolios for the Partners Fund or the Agriculture Credit Fund this week.

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