Asian Farmers are Learning the Secrets to Success in Israel
In many Asian countries, farming is the main, and often only, source of income. It provides families with food and a way of life. But the knowledge and skill to cultivate harsh land is often lacking.
Found deep in the heart of Israel’s Arava desert is an agricultural school, dedicated to providing Asian and African students from developing countries with the skills to help their families increase the output of their farms.
In the past 20 years, the Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training (AICAT) has educated over 10,000 graduates, coming from countries like Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Much of Israel’s and Asia’s farming is located in harsh conditions, geographic isolation, extreme weather, arid soil, and water shortage – problems that Israel has successfully dealt with. That is why students come here to learn secrets and steps which can be taken back to their home countries.
This year there are 21 students. All are required to have bachelor degrees before being accepted into the program. Each one is assigned to a local farmer who acts as mentor and family away from home and supports their journey even after the course completion.
The students, as well as gaining world class knowledge, receive a small payment for their work alongside the local farmers, and they are invited for sightseeing trips to farming and technology together in action.
The school has earned great recommendations from everyone involved. Success stories are numerous from previous students who returned to put some of Israel’s secrets into action. Stories such as the Thai student who persuaded his parents to install a water pump and farm a section of land which was previously not possible.
Photo credits: Protasov AN/ChameleonsEye – Shutterstock