The call to mobilization seems to have worked. Some 40,000 candidates had expressed themselves this Wednesday March 25 in the morning, 24 hours after the national call launched to compensate for the lack of seasonal workers in agriculture due to the measures taken to fight against the spread of the coronavirus according to the FNSEA. The Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume launched on Tuesday morning an “appeal to the army in the shadow of men and women (who) are no longer active” because of the crisis linked to Covid-19, inviting them to “join the great army of French agriculture”, in search of labor for harvesting fruit and vegetables or spring sowing.
This call was widely relayed by the FNSEA. “More than 40,000 people have registered” on the website www.desbraspourtonassiette.wizi.farm, “by offering their availability, behind at least 24,000 very well informed files” (profile, availability, geographic area), said Jérôme Volle, winegrower in Ardèche and president of the employment commission at the FNSEA. The 16,000 other potential candidates were victims, according to him, of the success of the operation. “There was a computer bug at one point. In the afternoon, there was a rush which was complicated to manage,” he said.
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He specified that these people were going to be contacted to complete their file. “The idea, with Covid-19, is to find people nearby, to avoid travel. We try to favor employers from the same territory as those who have registered,” said Jérôme Volle, indicating that there are candidates “throughout the territory”. The needs were quantified by the main employers 'and employees' union in the agricultural sector, the FNSEA, at 200,000 people over three months. “We need 50,000 people in March, 80,000 in April and 80,000 in May,” detailed FNSEA president Christiane Lambert on Tuesday evening.
People from rural areas, others who came to their second home
Among the candidates, “obviously, we have people from the rural world, we also have people who came to their second home or to friends, and also people in the peri-urban area,” explains the president of the employment commission. at the FNSEA. “We understand that some people want to go to the countryside or go to work in agriculture, because being confined, it allows us to stretch. We remember that we are in a professional, economic and that people who register must take this into account, “warned Jérôme Volle.
Main sources of demand: the harvesting of fruit and vegetables, particularly in the South-East and the South-West, but also “the north of France, with endives”, even if some farmers fear above all not being able to sell their goods after the markets have closed. Arms for harvesting, but also driving machines, “thinning” the fruit trees or finishing the pruning of the vine are particularly sought after, but using “all health barriers”. “The countryside is not only the great outdoors, it is also areas where you can contract the Covid-19,” said Jérôme Volle.