Kathmandu, August 4

Altogether, 1,580 students will have received the opportunity to go to Israel to learn about the agriculture practices there by this September under the ‘learn and earn’ programme of the Israeli government, which was started three years back.

The Israel Embassy in Kathmandu has partnered with Sana Kisan Bikas Bank Ltd (SKBBL) to select the students for the programme. The students who are selected from remote villages must be siblings or members of the Sana Kisan Cooperatives (SKC), promoted by SKBBL — a microfinance institution.

Members of SKC or their family members aged between 18 and 30, with minimum qualification of higher secondary level or equivalent, are eligible for the programme, according to Jalan Kumar Sharma, CEO of SKBBL.

SKBBL, in collaboration with Kathmandu University (KU), has been providing a crash course for the students who have been selected for the ‘learn and earn’ programme. KU has designed a 21-day crash course and around 400 students in two batches have participated in the programme.

Students are admitted to the agriculture institutes of Israel and also get an opportunity to work in the agriculture sector. The duration of the programme is 10 months.

As per Sharma, 1,130 students have benefited from this programme till date. Among them, 900 have returned to the country and are engaged in agricultural works. SKKBL will send 450 students to Israel in the next phase within September.

The Israel Embassy in Kathmandu and SKBBL representatives select the students for the programme.

According to Nadav Shemesh, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Israel in Kathmandu, the programme has been very helpful in terms of transfer of technology and skills from Israel to Nepal, which in the long run will play an instrumental role in transformation of Nepali agriculture sector.