Unemployed Australians urged to work in agriculture amid coronavirus shutdowns

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-25 12:57:12|Editor: Xiaoxia
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CANBERRA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Australians who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 shutdowns have been urged to consider jobs in the agriculture industry.

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF), the largest peak body representing farmers and the agricultural sector, on Wednesday called for the government to incentivize relocations to rural and regional Australia where jobs will be available for the unemployed.

"There are likely to be opportunities in the agriculture sector for those people that have been displaced in current jobs to move out into rural and regional Australia," NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

"Farmers will be looking for people to help pick crops, for example citrus crops about to come off in a couple of weeks," said Mahar.

He assured Australians that the sector is continuing to produce "plenty" of food and that there is no threat of a shortage.

"People don't have to worry about the food supply, that is one issue they don't have to worry about. Australian farmers produce plenty of food for the country," Mahar said.

However, he did warn that the industry was facing some uncertainty after Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory effectively closed their borders, urging federal, state and territory governments to officially declare agriculture as essential.

"It would be absolutely useful for the industry to have that confidence, and as I say it's starting to come, that agriculture, food and fibre is absolutely essential," he said.