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Remittance earnings from Jamaican farm workers in Canada top $1 billion during 2015

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2016 | 1:22 AM
Labour minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says the farm work programme is an important contributor to the local economy and must be seen as a critical part of the growth agenda.

 Labour minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has disclosed that preliminary figures show that remittance earnings from the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme with Canada totalled more than $1.7 billion in 2015.

That was an increase of 20 per cent over the $1.3 billion earned in 2014.

Dr Ferguson says the programme is an important contributor to the local economy and must be seen as a critical part of the growth agenda.

He was speaking at a send-off ceremony yesterday for the first of more than 8,000 Jamaicans expected to benefit this year from employment opportunities in Canada under the programme.

The 310 farm workers leave Jamaica today to be engaged in various agricultural industries, including greenhouse crop production, food processing and vegetable and plant nurseries.

They will be working in Leamington, Simcoe, Owen Sound, West Lorne, Goderich, Stratford and Woodstock, in the province of Ontario. 

Director of the Overseas Employment Service, Delroy Palmer, reportedly told JIS News that the crop and the duration of the crop will determine how long they stay.

He explains that workers will stay for between six weeks and three months, with some staying up to eight months.

The workers will be sent weekly, ending in September.

The season officially ends on December 15.