About 32 Malawian students from Bunda College and Natural Resources College in Lilongwe have been offered scholarships to study crop and livestock production at Agrostudies Centre in Israel.
The students, who were selected following a competitive process, according to Flora Kaluwile, National Coordinator for Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction, left the country on Monday, October 28 through the Kamuzu Airport in Lilongwe.
They will undergo intensive training and pursue 13 courses within the livestock and crop production components for a period of 11 months.
The scholarships are courtesy of the government of Malawi through the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction, which is implementing a three year Advanced Agro Technology for Sustainable Development project with 80 percent funding from the government of Israel.
The overall objective of the project, according to Kaluwile, is to contribute to President Joyce Banda’s objective of reducing poverty and hunger through sustainable agricultural water management and irrigation development.
“The Project will enhance capacity of staff and farmers in drip irrigation development and management; increase and improve smallholder farmer’s food and incomes through increased production of horticultural crops and other high value for regional and international markets,” she said.
The project also has two major components which include Drip Irrigation Development involving development of drip irrigation schemes and Capacity Building Component which involves conducting intensive trainings on the same.
About 15 pilot districts have been selected for the project and these are Zomba, Mangochi, Nkhata-BAY, Dedza, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Mzimba, Chikhwawa, Blantyre, Karonga, Kasungu, Nkhota-kota, Mulanje, Neno and Ntcheu.
The implementation of the project started in June this year and has so far constructed demonstration sites at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources-Bunda Campus, Natural Resources College, Nathenje RTC in Lilongwe, Dedza RTC, Nkhande RTC in Ntcheu, Namiasi RTC in Mangochi, Zomba RTC, Lunzu RTC in Blantyre, Neno Youth Centre, Chinese Technical Garden and Construction of Drip Irrigation site at Nadzipulu Scheme which is underway at Senior Chief Kachindamoto in Dedza district.