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The Migration of Horticultural Knowledge: Pacific Island seasonal workers in rural Australia-a missed opportunity?

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • In 2012, Graeme Hugo wrote the article ‘Migration and Development in Low-income

    Countries: A Role for Destination Country Policy?’ for the inaugural issue of the

    journal Migration and Development. That article, which continues to be the journal’s

    most viewed work,1 used the case of Asian and Pacific migration to Australia to question

    ‘whether policies and practices by destination governments relating to international

    migration and settlement can play a role in facilitating positive developmental impacts

    in origin communities’ (Hugo 2012, 25). The importance of such structural support for

    development has been underscored, in relation to seasonal worker programs, by

    growing evidence that their broader development benefits-beyond the household or

    family unit—cannot be taken for granted (Basok 2000; Craven 2015; Joint Standing

    Committee on Migration (JSCM) 2016).

    In this essay we take inspiration from the above-mentioned paper (Hugo 2012), as well

    as an earlier discussion of ‘best practice’ temporary labour migration for development

    (Hugo 2009). Reflecting on Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), we make a

    case for the importance of maximising ‘development benefits for origin countries via

    the transfer of remittances, skills and knowledge’ (Bedford et al. 2017, 39; emphasis

    added). Remittances have been a regular area of policy and research focus. However,

    less attention has been directed towards the knowledges and skills that move with seasonal

    workers as part of this circular and temporary migration process—in which the choice is

    not reduced to one ‘between staying or going’ (Methmann and Oels 2015, 53), but both

    staying and going (often repeatedly).

    Here we draw on our own ongoing research with Pacific Island seasonal workers in

    Australia’s horticultural sector, which points towards the potential for the SWP to facilitate

    the bi-directional transfer of horticultural knowledges and skills.2 Many seasonal

    workers have extensive farming experience developed in their countries of origin.

    Acknowledgement of their farming skills and identities prompts contemplation of how

    the horticultural knowledge transfers that already happen spontaneously under the

    SWP could be better supported.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Dun, O. & Klocker, N. (2017). The Migration of Horticultural Knowledge: Pacific Island seasonal workers in rural Australia-a missed opportunity?. Australian Geographer, 48 (1), 27-36.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85013304846

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4094&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3089

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 27

End Page


  • 36

Volume


  • 48

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • In 2012, Graeme Hugo wrote the article ‘Migration and Development in Low-income

    Countries: A Role for Destination Country Policy?’ for the inaugural issue of the

    journal Migration and Development. That article, which continues to be the journal’s

    most viewed work,1 used the case of Asian and Pacific migration to Australia to question

    ‘whether policies and practices by destination governments relating to international

    migration and settlement can play a role in facilitating positive developmental impacts

    in origin communities’ (Hugo 2012, 25). The importance of such structural support for

    development has been underscored, in relation to seasonal worker programs, by

    growing evidence that their broader development benefits-beyond the household or

    family unit—cannot be taken for granted (Basok 2000; Craven 2015; Joint Standing

    Committee on Migration (JSCM) 2016).

    In this essay we take inspiration from the above-mentioned paper (Hugo 2012), as well

    as an earlier discussion of ‘best practice’ temporary labour migration for development

    (Hugo 2009). Reflecting on Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), we make a

    case for the importance of maximising ‘development benefits for origin countries via

    the transfer of remittances, skills and knowledge’ (Bedford et al. 2017, 39; emphasis

    added). Remittances have been a regular area of policy and research focus. However,

    less attention has been directed towards the knowledges and skills that move with seasonal

    workers as part of this circular and temporary migration process—in which the choice is

    not reduced to one ‘between staying or going’ (Methmann and Oels 2015, 53), but both

    staying and going (often repeatedly).

    Here we draw on our own ongoing research with Pacific Island seasonal workers in

    Australia’s horticultural sector, which points towards the potential for the SWP to facilitate

    the bi-directional transfer of horticultural knowledges and skills.2 Many seasonal

    workers have extensive farming experience developed in their countries of origin.

    Acknowledgement of their farming skills and identities prompts contemplation of how

    the horticultural knowledge transfers that already happen spontaneously under the

    SWP could be better supported.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Dun, O. & Klocker, N. (2017). The Migration of Horticultural Knowledge: Pacific Island seasonal workers in rural Australia-a missed opportunity?. Australian Geographer, 48 (1), 27-36.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85013304846

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4094&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3089

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 27

End Page


  • 36

Volume


  • 48

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia