Israel doubles number of Kenyan agriculture trainees


Graduands at a ceremony in the past. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Israel will double the number of Kenyan students undergoing intensive agriculture training to 100 and link them up with financial institutions to enable them start agribusiness projects after graduation.

The students who have been going to Israel every year for studies since 2016 were to be employed by Kenyan government once they return, but none of them has been placed on a job locally since the beginning of the programme.

Israel deputy ambassador to Kenya Eyal David said they have organised an agriculture show in May to give these students a platform to pitch their ideas on agribusiness to Israeli financial institutions and government agencies to enable them get loans.

It is, however, not known if the May event will take place under the global restrictions brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Flights have been reduced to essentials like ferrying cargo.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the six-year Jerusalem Declaration in 2016 to have local students trained in Israel on advanced agriculture.

“We are going to double the number of students even as we focus on linking them to financial institutions to enable them get funds to start their agribusiness projects, as we seek to help Kenya to become food-secure,” said Mr David.

The training includes crop production and efficient water use for 11 months.

Students who go to Israel, he said, are on a stipend, which they can save and use to start up when they get back.


“After 11 months, these students come back with savings that they can use to start agribusiness projects that can become successful,” he said.

The new development comes at a time there have been concerns over lack of job placement when these students return, putting the knowledge that they acquire to waste.

The initial plans, would see the students work at one-million-acre Galana-Kulalu irrigation project once they completed their studies.

The training targeted the sustainability of the project through knowledge transfer at the end of the contract when the Galana project contractor would be required to go back to their country.