32 Malawi students at LUANAR to undergo irrigation course in Israel

Malawi Government has sent 32 students from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) to Israel under its Drip Irrigation Project as one way of implementing Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction (PIPaHR).

PIPaHR National Coordinator, Flora Kaluwile, told journalists on Monday that the agreement has come at a right when Malawi considers irrigation as one of its key tools in its development agenda.

As such, Kaluwile said, the arrangement will assist Malawi Government in building capacity of technical staff in the field of agriculture for implementation of Drip Irrigation Project in the country.

She, therefore, thanked the Israeli Government saying this gesture will help Malawi graduate from theoretical agriculture as it will provide the Malawi Government with practical agricultural methods, especially on the drip irrigation.

Kaluwile: To assist capacity building
Kaluwile: To assist capacity building

“Malawi’s agriculture is so theoretical even in school curriculums. So as government we salute the government of Israel for its positive gesture in terms of helping Malawi to achieve a hunger free nation by offering to equip students from LUANAR with better practical methods of agriculture specifically drip irrigation,” she said.

Kaluwile advised the 32 students to cooperate and work hard once they arrive in Israel for the good of the country saying failing to behave and work hard will hinder the chances of the next group of students who are supposed to go in the next phase.

Natural Resources College (NRC) Deputy Dean of Students, Dr. David Sikawa, congratulated the students for making it to Israel saying it is good news not only to them but to the country as a whole.

He said the college is expecting that the students will use this chance, get the expertise and apply it so that they contribute to increasing food secure in the country.

“As LUANAR we will be expecting more from you once you are back. Our hope is that you will utilise this chance to the highest level as to opening of your own big farms that can help increase food security in the country and becoming employers not employees as it has always been,” Sikawa said.

One of the women beneficiary students from Bunda College, who opted for anonymity, extended her gratitude to the government of Israel for granting them this opportunity to explore new agricultural ways which, she said, will boost Malawi in terms of food security.

Initially 20 students (10 from Bunda College and 10 from NRC) were supposed to go for this course. But after Malawi government pleaded with the Israeli government, the figure was increased to 32.

The criteria used to select the students was through an advertisement where students from the two LUANAR constituent colleges were supposed to apply for. The shortlisted students underwent an interview where the 32 was selected.

After completing the 11 months training in Israel the students will be given a special agriculture package which will include seed capital to equip them with the needed resources for them to start their own farms. Among the 32 students there are 3 women.

The three programme which will see three groups of students going to Israel, comes in after President Dr Joyce Banda asked the Israeli government to help Malawi undertake Green House Drip Irrigation. Currently, Israel is a global leader in irrigation farming.

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