Costa Rica’s labor department is calling for 5,500 temporary workers to be allowed into the country to help with the coming fruit and sugar cane harvests, website Nacion.com reported.
The migrant workers will account for 11% of the workforce needed to collect the country’s harvests.
Farm laborers are in demand from mid-December through to January when melons, oranges, watermelons, mangoes and sugar cane are ready for picking.
Melon growers are allowed to bring in 1,500 laborers with Del Monte recruiting 630 immigrants to work at its processing unit, the story reported. Pineapple and orange producers can each bring in 500 workers while the palm oil industry can recruit 400 and flower growers 100.
Traditionally the coffee industry needs 150,000 pickers, however, the 5,500 figure does not include coffee jobs as the sector missed the deadline for applying for immigrant workers.
The Labor Ministry’s decided on 5,500 after reviewing producers’ applications but the proposal needs Directorate General of Immigration approval before permits are issued.