Home GENERAL NEWS Israeli envoy urges Egerton University to boost food production

Israeli envoy urges Egerton University to boost food production

by biasharadigest
FRANCIS MUREITHI

By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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Israeli Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Eyal David has urged Egerton University students to be selected for an agro-entrepreneurship course in Israel to ensure Kenya’s Big Four Agenda on food security succeeds.

The envoy told the students to use the opportunity to learn more from farmers in Israel on how to make money from the soil and ensure Kenya feeds itself. The innovative technologies programme will take 11 months.

The programme is done in collaboration with Israeli government through Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training, Israel and Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s Growth and Development.

The programme offers scholarships to needy students to pursue agricultural-related courses at Egerton University.

“Israel is a start-up nation with thousands of innovations which you could replicate here in Kenya such as drip irrigation and boost food security and at the same time make money through value addition,” said Mr Eyal on Thursday at the Njoro-based campus.

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He said: “If we [Israel] can feed about nine million people by turning the desert into rich agricultural land, then you should be able to do more in Kenya which is blessed with good arable land and favourable weather conditions by using Israel technological innovative ideas,” said Mr Eyal.

He said Israel is offering innovative solutions to eliminate hunger in the world.

The envoy urged the students to use the knowledge they acquire in Israel to turn Kenya into a nation that can feed itself and have surplus to export.

“You’re not going to Israel to have fun but to learn and it is my sincere hope after the 11-month’s training you will come back home and implement some of the agricultural solutions and ensure Kenya has enough food for its more than 47million people,” said the diplomat.

The ambassador said Israel will continue to link Kenya to international markets for its fresh produce.

He said Israelis working in the flower industry in Naivasha were helping local companies penetrate the competitive export market.

“Israel will continue to encourage strong Kenya – Israel collaboration in order to make it easy for local fresh produce such as avocados to enter Israel and other international markets,” said Mr Eyal.

At least 100 students from Kenya will this year travel to Israel and learn more on innovations that have made the country’s agricultural sector to blossom.

Transforming African Agricultural Universities coordinator Nancy Mungai said the exchange programme seeks to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development and turn Kenya into a secure food basket besides creating jobs for young people venturing into agriculture.

 “Kenya can grow to become a giant agricultural nation and I urge our students who are the future drivers of our economy to learn from Israel’s innovations,” said Prof Mungai.

Prof Mungai urged the Israeli government to increase the number of students from Egerton who will go to study in the country.

“In 2018 we had 33 students and last year we had 23 and we hope the next cohort of students for this year will be more than 30 students,” said Prof Mungai.

Nakuru County Agriculture Executive Immaculate Njuthe Maina said the county had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Egerton University to disseminate knowledge to farmers.

“Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s administration is ready to link students who have had their training in Israel with the industry players and other partners,” said Dr Maina.

She said at least 100 students from Egerton are attached to farmers in the county to impact knowledge to boost food production in the county.

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