Farmers in desperate need of foreign hands

Farmers in desperate need of foreign hands

Farmers in northern Greece are desperately seeking help abroad to get their fruit and other crops picked, as local youth disdain farm work and the once-reliable Albanian farmhands now prefer to chase jobs in northern European Union countries.

Farm unionists in the regional units of Imathia and Pella, where peach production dominates, say that they would welcome a natural disaster, meaning that at least they would be compensated for wasted produce.

Just these two regional units need 30,000 seasonal workers to pick the peaches, plus apples, cherries and kiwi fruit grown, and a big portion canned, in the area.

Farmers say delays in issuing visas to foreign workers, mostly from South Asia, could result in a lost season. They are also looking to countries such as Egypt, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and even Ecuador and Peru, to import workers.

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