Results of migrant labour survey completed for the NI agricultural sector

Date published: 02 October 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has released the report, ‘Migrant Labour in NI Agriculture’. The Migrant Labour in NI Agriculture report presents survey results for the agricultural sector on migrant labour including non-seasonal and seasonal workers plus country of origin information. The statistics are compiled from a survey of farm businesses completed in November 2017.


Some of the report’s key findings:

  • On 01 November 2017, an estimated 1,404 non-seasonal and seasonal workers from outside
  • the UK and Ireland were employed in agriculture in Northern Ireland.
  • Using June Agricultural Census employment figures, the 1,404 migrant workers equate to 20
  • per cent of the paid agricultural workforce.
  • Almost all the responses from farm businesses with migrant labour stated that migrant labour
  • was important to their business.
  • Horticultural farms were the most likely farm type to employ migrant labour with approximately
  • 70 per cent of the estimated migrant labour used on these farms.
  • Thirty-two per cent of non-seasonal migrant workers present on 01 November 2017 were from
  • Bulgaria with 28 per cent from Lithuania and 16 per cent from Poland.

Download the full report on migrant labour in the NI agricultural sector.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The survey results were prepared by Statistics and Analytical Services Branch, Policy, Economics and Statistics Division of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3SB.
  2. View all recent DAERA statistical reports.
  3. These statistics are released according to the Statement of Compliance with the Pre-release access to Official Statistics Order (NI) 2009.
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  5. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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