Over 15 000 farmers and agriculture workers are needed in Finland

Agriculture is in trouble because seasonal workers abroad are not able to enter Finland due to the coronavirus crisis. In the interview of Helsingin Sanomat, The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry estimated that 1500 foreigners are urgently needed in Finland to work for farms, gardens, and horticultural companies. 

Yle reports that 15 000-20 000 people are needed to work in seasonal work such as berry picking, vegetable farms, spring fields, seedling production, and animal welfare work.

In an interview of Yle, Olli Sorainen, Government Adviser at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, estimates that in practice, only hundreds of immigrants can be supplied as a workforce to agriculture because not everyone is capable of switching to agricultural work due to the person's location, access, professional skills, and health.

However, the government proposes that resident permit holders in Finland should have the opportunity to work in positions that are important for security and supply and the functioning of the labor market. 

The government is proposing to change the Aliens Act and the Seasonal Work Act temporarily until the end of the year for third-country nationals. Third-country nationals are persons who are not EU nationals or nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. The law would apply to all existing residence permits, visas, and seasonal work certificates as well as new permits and visas. Immigrants can change jobs that are critical for the security of supply or the functioning of the labor market.