When people hear the word “hero,” one of two things come to mind: either a caped figure with superhuman powers or brave souls like soldiers and police officers who keep the country safe. However, there’s another type of hero that people often take for granted: farmers.
Think about it, everything from the milk you pour into your cereal, to the fruits you snack on, right down to that juicy steak you had for dinner all came from a farm. Indeed, “hero” is an apt description for the hardworking folks who make sure there’s food on every Kiwi’s table.
A Serious Concern
However, there’s a looming problem on the horizon: fewer and fewer New Zealanders are choosing to be farmers. According to data from Statistics New Zealand and Lincoln University, the average age of a Kiwi farmer in 2013 was 47.7, compared to 46.4 in 2006. With the general workforce’s age being pegged at around 41, it’s easy to see that agriculturists are an aging breed.
It doesn’t help that New Zealand’s population is ballooning at the fastest rate in a decade at about 1.9% in 2015. Naturally, a bigger population mean more mouths that need to be fed.
Bridging the Gap
Given the shortage of agricultural laborers and the growing food demand, many farms have turned to hiring immigrants to fill the workforce gap. Luckily, many foreigners are drawn to the country largely due to the generous compensation awaiting them. For instance, they can earn up to $14 per hour in New Zealand compared to just $14 per day in their home country.
That being said, immigration is always a complex process, especially when it comes to applying for a skilled migrant visa in New Zealand
. Between the amount of paperwork involved and the back and forth between embassies, it’s not surprising that many aspiring agriculturists forego the golden opportunity to work in the country.
For those who are able to pass through the eye of the needle, however, another challenge awaits: how to secure residency so they can eventually petition for their family and be reunited with them.
Given the stringent immigration requirements, those looking to secure a coveted New Zealand skilled migrant visa
would do well to work with firms like Auckland South Immigration Consultants. These companies are licensed immigration professionals who know the ins and outs of the process, and thus are able to provide crucial guidance to make the application process as smooth as possible. Aside from work visas, they can also assist clients with other visa types, such as student and visitor visas, making them a one-stop shop for your immigration needs.
Farmers are an ageing demographic. www.stuff.co.nz
Criteria 'too tough' on migrant workers - Federated Farmers. www.stuff.co.nz
Sustainable food production: Facts and figures. www.scidev.net
New Zealand's population growing at its fastest rate in over a decade. www.stuff.co.nz
Dairy farms turn to migrants. www.stuff.co.nz