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Ugandan Students Complete Israel Agrostudies Internship

  • In Sciences
  • 12 Aug 2014 - 10:32pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 40,540
Ugandan Students pose with the Ugandan Delegation: Dr. Maud Kamatenesi-VC, Bishop Stuart Univ. (Rear 3rd R), Prof. Anthony Mugisha-CoVAB (Rear 4th R), Eng. Henry Okinyal-MoES (Rear 3rd L), Mr. Agaba Issa Mugabo-Agrostudies Coordinator (Rear L) after their Agrostudies Graduation, 3rd September 2014, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Thirty-six Ugandan students who left for the 11-months agricultural apprenticeship programme in Israel last year have successfully completed their internship. Thirty-four are from Makerere University while two are from Busitema University. This is the first time Uganda has participated in this life-changing internship with great success.

The students who left in October 2013 have studied advanced agricultural techniques and technologies, combining hands on experience with theoretical studies. This has allowed them to gain valuable experience in large-scale modern farming which they are expected to implement upon their return to Uganda.

This international apprenticeship programme exposes students from countries in South East Asia, Africa and South America to Israel and to the most advanced commercial farming techniques on handpicked farms throughout the country. A total of 1,100 students from 18 countries participated in this year’s programme with 500 students originating from Africa.

Part of the Audience during the Agrostudies Graduation, Tel Aviv University, IsraelThe ceremony held at the Tel Aviv University Auditorium was attended by the Vice President of Malawi H.E Saulos Chilima, Head of MASHAV and former Israel Ambassador to East, Central and Southern Africa H.E. Ambassador Gil Haskel as well as several Ambassadors from participating countries. MASHAV is the Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ceremony was also attended by the delegation from Uganda who are on a fact-finding visit before sending their students for this internship. The Vice Chancellor of Bishop Stuart University Mbarara, Prof. Maud Kamatenesi, led this delegation which also included; Prof. Anthony Mugisha, Dean School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources & Biosecurity (CoVAB), Makerere University, Ms. Jaquiline Kyomuhendo-Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, Bishop Stuart University, Mr. Musita Augustus-Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Busoga University, Mr. David Adengu-Academic Registrar, Bukalasa Agricultural College, Mrs. Beatrice Okinyal-Head, Department of Crop Production, Bukalasa Agricultural College, Eng. Henry Okinyal-Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and Mr. Agaba Issa Mugabo, Agrostudies Coordinator, East, Central & Southern Africa.

In his speech, the Agrostudies Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yaron Tamir hoped that students would use the acquired practical skills and experience to become leading agribusiness entrepreneurs in their respective countries. He noted that since the students had survived the difficulties facing Israel today, they are ready to face and overcome any challenge and achieve whatever they set out to do in life.

Mr. Tamir reminded the students that their choice of Israel as the apprenticeship destination placed a huge responsibility on their shoulders as   future agriculture leaders in their countries to guarantee food security for their communities by putting into practice all they had learnt.

“The main reason why Agrostudies started this internship programme is to promote food security by empowering students from developing countries through a creative, dynamic, multicultural program that involves both academic studies and learning by doing, gaining real hands on experience in the field,” said Mr. Tamir.

L-R: Eng. Henry Okinyal-Formerly MoES/MAAIF, Mrs. Beatrice Okinyal-Bukalasa, Ms. Jaquiline Kyomuhendo-Bishop Stuart Univ, Mr. Musita Augustus-Busoga Univ, Prof. Anthony Mugisha-CoVAB, Mr. Agaba Issa Mugabo-Agrostudies Coord, H.E. Amb. Gil Haskel, Dr. Maud Kamatenesi-Bishop Stuart Univ and Mr. David Adengu-Bukalasa in Tel Aviv IsraelHe challenged the students to share the gained knowledge and practical skills with the students and farmers who did not get the opportunity to come to Israel. He said Israel is ready and will to help the students open their own farms and revealed that Agrostudies is looking at Uganda as their biggest hub in Africa for the internship.

In his remarks, Ambassador Gil Haskel shared that Israel’s philosophy was to freely share any technology developed in Israel with participating countries. He challenged the students to use the knowledge acquired in Israel to transform the agriculture sector in Africa. He challenged the students to open new farms of their own and turn them into financial successes in their countries.

Ambassador Haskel reminded the students that the main objective of this internship programme is to create leaders and entrepreneurs in agriculture so that they can make a positive difference in their countries and communities.

The African countries participating in the internship programme include: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso. Other countries are the Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, Bhutan and Vietnam from Asia and Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru from South America.

All participating students are housed on the farm so that they can experience the life of a farmer. For five days a week they work on farms where they complete their 'on the job' training, and attend theoretical classes once a week in one of Agrostudies campuses across Israel.

In the next intake (2014/2015), Uganda at 200 slots has been allocated highest number of apprenticeship positions while Rwanda has been allocated about 150 slots. The students return home on September 5, 2014.

Article by Agaba Issa Mugabo, Public Relations Office

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