Farmer strategies to face labor shortages in Chilean agriculture

Aguirre, Verónica; Echeverria, Rodrigo; Olmedo, Clara; Blanco, Gustavo
August 2013
Ciência Rural;ago2013, Vol. 43 Issue 8, p1529
Academic Journal
This study analyzes the strategies that farmers in the south of Chile use to face current labor shortages and identify the variables that determine each of these strategies. A multinomiallogit model and odds ratios plots with predicted probabilities were applied to a sample of 384 farmers. Interviews and focus groups were applied to specific producers, professionals and public officials. The main results show that only 32.3% of farmers declared that labor shortage is a problem. Of this percentage 52% chose the strategy of paying better, 13.8% chose improve the workers'working conditions, 9.5% chose to mechanize, and 24.1% didnot follow a strategy. The production of labor-intensive products(e.g., exportable fruit) determines the strategy of paying better; the farmer s educational level influences the strategy of improving the working conditions, and the farmer's age affects the strategy of mechanizing. However, the production of labor-intensive products exhibits the greater effect. The main disadvantage of the "paybetter " strategy is that workers do not want to commit to their job.


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