101 EAST: Sweden’s Thai Berry Pickers

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101 EAST: Sweden’s Thai Berry Pickers

Many Tai people rely on working in the rice fields to make a living. Unfortunately, the work is seasonal, so they’re without income for two months every year.

Some Tai people have seen a new opportunity: berry picking in Sweden. The chief of their village had done so and made enough money to buy land, a tractor and workers.

Escaping poverty comes at a cost, however. Getting to Sweden and staying for two months is very expensive. The loan they take out uses up their first month of income.

That is if all goes well. Paid by the kilo, profits depend entirely on how much they harvest. In bad years, some go home still in debt.

To many of them, it’s a risk worth taking. Some people, however, are concerned that the workers get exploited.

Friday at 11:30 AM on Aljazeera (ch 257) from 07 May

Also on: Saturday, 8 May at 5:30 AM | Sunday, 9 May at 6:30 PM | Monday, 10 May at 7:30 AM

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse