A total of 200 young Malawians left for Israel on Friday where they are expected to under a year-long rigorous training in agriculture.
The government of Israel started the program in 2014 aimed at supporting Malawi in different fields of education, technology, agriculture, engineering, business, among others.
Agriculture in Israel is a highly developed industry and the country is a major exporter of fresh produce and a world-leader in agricultural technologies despite the fact that the geography of the country is not naturally conducive to agriculture.
More than half of the land area in Israel is desert, and the country’s climate and lack of water resources do not favor farming.
About 75 percent of the cost of air tickets has been financed by Lilongwe-based Smart Travel Agent which also financed for medical check-ups for all the travelling students before their departure.
Briefing The Nation in Lilongwe on Friday, Smart Travel Agent chief executive officer Junior Bisnowaty said the company was pleased to take a huge responsibility in helping to finance and facilitating easy travel of the students considering the role agriculture plays in Malawi’s economy.
Malawi heavily relies on agriculture which accounts for about 35 percent of the country’s total wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
“Israel is highly advanced in agriculture and upon returning, these students will help in promoting agriculture and they will become very good farmers here in Malawi.” Said Bisnowaty.
He said about 600 candidates had undergone for interviews to be considered for the training but 200 of them were successful.
According to Bisnowaty, the program started under the influence of former member of Parliament for Lilongwe City Centre David Bisnowaty, who is his father.
He hoped that going forward, Israeli government would soon extend such training into other sectors of health and tourism.
One of the beneficiary students of the program Henry Chimulu from Lilongwe thanked both Smart Travel Agent, Israel and Malawi governments for facilitating his travel and hoped to plough back the skills and knowledge which he will obtain after under undergoing the training.
Malawi and Israel agreed in principal to have diplomatic ties and as its stand, both countries are waiting with keen interest to see whether President Lazarus Chakwera will fulfill the agreement of opening the embassy in Jerusalem.
Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera promised to open a diplomatic mission to Jerusalem as he recently addressed Malawi’s parliament and spoke of the need to reform its Foreign Ministry.
Chakwera visited Israel prior to the 2020 fresh elections and also visited Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Western Wall.
In 2014 a total of 20 Malawians were flown to Israel and later in 2016, 40 Malawians went to Israel to participate in the same program.