Farm-Level Impacts of Participation in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program: Farm Impact of Remittances Sent by Mexican Participants
In many parts of the world, the number of poor people in rural areas exceeds the capacity of agriculture to provide employment opportunities. The increasing role of off-farm income has highlighted the role of rural migration, both within Mexico and to the United States and Canada, as a vehicle for poverty reduction. A significant number of Mexican migrants are participating in guest workers programs performing mainly agricultural activities. The main reason is obvious: Mexican farm workers earn around 4 US dollars per day in Mexico while in United States or Canada they can make up to 80 UD dollars. The number of Mexican agricultural workers migrating to Canada through the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (CSAWP) to work in agriculture has increased significantly over time and now exceeds 20,000. In Mexico, it provides an estimated C$70 million in remittance income annually, mainly directed to rural and poorer regions. In these regions, this fungible income supports consumption activities and expenditures on family education. However, there are also investments in farming activities, in turn enhancing agrarian incomes. This research explores the remittances impact on farming investments made by migrant workers participating in the CSAWP among other economic on-farm and off-farm impacts. Thus, the results highlight the extent to which migration to work in Canadian agriculture is complimentary or a substitute for livelihoods through agricultural production in Mexico.
Keywords: Remittances, On-Farm Investment, International Migration, Mexico-Canada Migration
Dr. Lidia Carvajal
Student, FARE, University of Guelph, Canada