Japanese farming cooperatives plan to hire Filipino workers

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Saturday, November 17, 2012


Kalami kay bisag usan

SEVEN farm leaders from Japan visited top officials of Lapu-Lapu City last Thursday to express their commitment to hire Filipino farm workers.

Mihoya Nirou, chairman of the Kashimanada Agricultural Cooperatives, described Filipino workers as hard-working, during a courtesy call on Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza
and Vice Mayor Marcial Ycong.

He said recent natural calamities that hit the country, including the radiation leak
from the Fukushima nuclear plant following last year’s earthquake and tsunami, prompted foreign workers to leave.

Rising tension between China and Japan over a territorial dispute makes it harder for them to bring in more farm workers from China, he also said.

“Filipinos are a good replacement because they have inherent skills and good working attitude,” Nirou said. Farms in Japan also have other foreign workers from Vietnam and Nepal.

The rising age of farmers in Japan and the reported lack of interest in farming among young adults have prompted the country to employ foreign agricultural workers.

Kashimanada Agricultural Cooperatives has partnered with Cebu-based East Meridian International Manpower Agency Inc. (EMIMAI) its the manpower requirement.

According to EMIMAI chief executive officer Alex Juntilla, the company has yet to get a license to recruit from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), but as soon as the job order agreement is signed by both parties, they will start looking for farm workers to deploy in Japan.

He said the agency’s requirement is a job order of 100 workers for the initial batch. They will sign the agreement next month.

Nirou said their cooperative will also partner with other private farm owners in Japan for their workforce requirement.

Members of the Kashimanada Agricultural Cooperatives plant high-value crops, fruits and vegetables.

Juntilla said Filipino farm workers that will be deployed in Japan will be trained for three months by EMIMAI. Training on Japanese language, culture and their work ethic will be provided. The company is considering farm workers from all over the country.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 17, 2012.

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