Estonian parlt committee: Agricultural development plan must also address foreign labor

  • 2020-09-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Chairman of the Riigikogu's rural affairs committee Tarmo Tamm said that development plan for agriculture and fisheries must pay attention, among other things, also to the use of foreign labor in the agricultural sector.

According to the committee chair, the aspect of the use of foreign labor should be included in the development plan to identify labor bottlenecks related to wages, seasonality and labor turnover.

At its sitting on Monday, the rural affairs committee of the Riigikogu continued the discussion of the development plan in the field of agriculture and fisheries. The development plan focuses on sectoral production, functioning rural life and the connections between the two, and formulates the desired future situation until 2030, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said.

"It has a direct impact on the balanced development of rural and coastal areas, on maintaining good plant and animal health, on ensuring food safety and on maintaining a clean environment," Tamm said in a press release.

Deputy chair of the rural affairs committee, Urmas Kruuse, also considered it necessary to include aspects related to the use of foreign labor in the development plan. "The government's policy towards foreign labor has clearly changed and is on its way to limiting it. These important effects are not reflected in the current development document," Kruuse said.

Kruuse also noted that the largest increase in value added is expected in the dairy sector. "Different crises affect the price of milk and the price of milk may not rise, so it is necessary to think about getting more added value in dairy farming. Raw milk accounts for approximately 30 percent of exports. However, it is important to export products with higher added value. This trend also applies to exports of all other agricultural products," he said.

The development plan must create a direction to contribute to the development and increase in the competitiveness of Estonian agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and food industry, food security, balanced development of rural and coastal areas, as well as good plant and animal health, soil improvement, food safety and preservation of a clean environment and population diversity.