Farm-Level Impacts of Rural Migration: The Case of Mexican Participation in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program

By:
Dr. Lidia Carvajal,
Dr. Kerry L. Preibisch,
Prof. Spencer Henson
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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. 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. For Canadian farmers, the CSAWP provides a low-cost and reliable labour force, underpinning global competitiveness in sectors such as horticulture. 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 motivations for Mexicans to participate in the CSAWP and the factors influencing allocative decisions between consumption and farm and non-farm investments of remittance income. 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
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Lidia Carvajal

Doctoral Candidate, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Kerry L. Preibisch

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada


Prof. Spencer Henson

Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada


Ref: I07P0250