Large farmers in Georgia’s agricultural sector are more likely to find the workers they need than small ones, but hiring seasonal workers has become more expensive this year for all. Some growers see mechanized harvesting as a solution to this problem.
According to official statistics, the rural population in Georgia has decreased by 8% over the past 10 years. Local residents prefer to travel to other countries in search of seasonal work, as they are more likely to find higher salaries and more stable jobs there. Farmers report a 15-29% increase in daily wages for pickers in 2021 compared to 2020.
Since harvesting is the most labor-intensive process in a farm, mechanization may be a solution for some growers. In orchards where harvesting is still done manually, stone fruit, apple and berry producers (other than blueberries) are less likely to mechanize harvesting in the near future. Most likely, large growers of hazelnuts and blueberries will invest in harvesting machines in Georgia.