The Spanish government announced the news after a meeting held in Madrid on January 18 between representatives of agricultural firms and officials from the General Directorate for Migration, according to Spanish news outlet, Eco Diario.
The workers will take part in the strawberry and berry campaign, which will take place in April and June 2018. The seasonal migrant workers will head back to Morocco after the end of the campaign.
Agricultural associations have made requests to the Spanish government to allow them to hire 16,000 seasonal workers, 10,000 of whom will be recruited for the first time.
Preselection for the seasonal farming operation will take place from January 29 to February 2.
The government said that the priority will be given to seasonal workers who have experience in this field, who are married and committed to returning to Morocco after the operation.
More than 5,000 contracts were validated in favor of the Association of Strawberry Producers and Exporters in Huvila, while 3,000 was validated for the Young Farmers’ Association. Citrus growers were provided with 1,000 contracts, while 700 contracts were validated for the Freson de Palos group and the Union of Small Farmers (UPA).
A report issued in 2016 by the Spanish Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (COAG), showed that the Spanish agricultural sector depends on more than 200,000 migrant workers, a large number of whom come from Morocco.
There are about 71,587 Moroccan workers in Spain’s agricultural sector, and 59,830 Romanians. Both groups combined account for more than half of the total workers in the sector.
The Spanish countryside is home to workers from several parts of the world. Most workers migrated to Spain from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Ukraine and Pakistan, along with others from sub-Saharan African countries.