KATHMANDU, Aug 5: Altogether 450 youths from small farmers' family across the country are set to leave for Israel to study agro technology and skills.
The youths, who were selected from across the country in coordination with Sana Kisan Bikas Bank Ltd (SKBBL), have already completed crash course at Kathmandu University.
They will learn about modern and commercial farming practices in Israel.
Embassy of Israel in Nepal and Kathmandu University are the other partners of the 'Sana Kishan Agriculture Training Project' that started in 2013. As part of the project, a total of 1,150 youths have already reached Israel to learn farming and agriculture practices.
Youths selected for the training said that the skills and experience that they gain in Israel will help them to upgrade their subsistence farming to commercial farming. "I have heard many stories about how Israel has grown tomatoes and other crops in the desert by embracing modern farming technology. I want to learn such techniques so that we can produce more crops and vegetables even in our small plot of lands," Meena Thapa, 26, from Bijuwar of Pyuthan, told Republica.
Thapa is among 450 youths, who were selected from among nearly 555,000 small farmers' family associated with nearly 550 Sana Kisan Cooperatives across the country, according to SKBBL.
Jalan Kumar Sharma, CEO of SKBBL, told Republica that the youths were selected from a pool of 3,000 applicants from across the country. "They underwent a rigorous selection process. This is an opportunity for the small-scale farmers who rarely get the opportunity to participate in such life-changing exposure and training program. To make the process fair, we selected the name from shortlisted applicants by conducting a lucky draw,” added Sharma.
He further added that many Israel returnees have been leading various commercial agriculture ventures, while others are helping to transfer their skills and knowledge in their communities.
Speaking at a program organized at the Kathmandu University to mark the completion of the orientation class, Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of Israel, Nadav Shemesh, opined the returnees' skills and the technology would help to increase agro productivity in Nepal.