Wives and oxen from your countries… And shepherds from Kyrgyzstan. In Sardinia, the regional section of Coldiretti has closed an agreement with the Ministry of Labor of the ex-Soviet country which provides for the arrival of around a hundred Khirgisi shepherds to repopulate some areas of the island and save the farms. An initiative which, in addition to strengthening the productive fabric, aims to combat the abandonment of the countryside and small towns, where the decline in births and the aging of the population weigh above all. The project, projected over the medium to long term, will lead to the inclusion of thousands of foreigners, depending on demand, with interventions in the rural districts of Sassari, Barbagie and Sarrabus.
“The agreement envisages starting a professional and social pilot project, with the arrival of a first group of around one hundred Kyrgyz, aged between 18 and 45, with specific professional skills in the primary sector. These will follow a path of training and integration into the economic and social fabric of the Region, with opportunities also for wives in the family care activity” underlines Coldiretti in the press release published on its official pages, adding that “in Kyrgyzstan there is a strong presence of livestock farming, with deep knowledge of the dairy business and widespread expertise in the production of sheep’s milk cheese[…] In the country, mainly Karakul and Argali sheep are bred, which can weigh up to 80 kilos for an adult male.”
The development of the integration project was made possible by the close collaboration with the Kyrgyz ambassador to Italy Taalay Bazarbaev, with the aim of creating stable job opportunities in the Sardinian hinterland and in the most uninhabited areas of the island. A success of the mission of Coldiretti Sardegna, led by the president Battista Cualbu with the director Luca Saba, and of Fondazione Sardegna: the agreement provides for apprenticeship and subsequently permanent contracts, with the possibility of occupying the numerous vacant properties in the small centers of the ‘Island. The first selection will initially be made by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Labour, which will prepare the tenders for the identification of qualified personnel, and will be made official upon the signing of a protocol between Coldiretti and the government of the ex-Soviet country.
“Legal immigration is a value for a country like Italy, where one agricultural product in four is harvested by foreign hands”, we read in the press release, “According to the Idos dossier, in our country there are 358 thousand regular workers, coming from from as many as 164 different countries and regularly engaged in the fields and stables, providing more than 30% of the total working days needed by the sector”. According to Coldiretti, foreign workers employed in agriculture mostly come from Romania, Morocco, India and Albania. Among these, the majority work on a fixed-term basis arriving from abroad: in fact, there are many “workers who cross the border for seasonal work, and then return to their own country. Often, these people establish lasting professional relationships, as well as of friendship, with agricultural entrepreneurs”.