A group of Kenyan students won a Ksh1.1 million grant after presenting an impressive project in a competition in Israel.
According to the Israel Embassy in Kenya, in a statement dated Friday, June 16, the Kenyan students attended an 11-month programme at Arava International Center for Agricultural Training, a non-profit organisation located in the Arava desert in Israel.
Their school project, H20 Filtered Water for Agriculture, offered farmers solutions to various challenges.
"The teams look forward to implement the business plans in their home countries, upon their return," the Israeli Embassy in Kenya announced.
Kenyan students were lauded for outsmarting their counterparts from Tanzania, who bagged Ksh840,600. The Tanzanian group presented a project promoting Amaranthus farming in East Africa.
Arava International Center for Agricultural Training praised both winners encouraging them to apply skills gained in Israel to promote agriculture in their respective countries.
Dean Family Fellowship Grants, an initiative of the Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) and the Dean family of Philadelphia, which funds the scholarships, also praised the winners.
Since 2016 when former President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an MoU between Kenya and the State of Israel, over 440 Agricultural students have been to the Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training (AICAT) to study for an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture and Agribusiness.
Out of the 400, 200 were drawn from top universities in Kenya, with 50 from the University of Nairobi.
Israel is renowned for irrigation-based farming aligned with technological inventions. Kenya is among the main beneficiaries, depending on Israel's fertiliser, chemicals, cereals, and farm machinery.
On May 10, President William Ruto met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and they agreed to eliminate trade barriers.
"We must exploit these opportunities. There are a wide range of exports that deserve to reach the Israel market,” Ruto stated.
Ruto also struck a deal allowing the national airline to re-introduce direct flights to Israel to promote the exportation of agricultural products.
Ruto's Promise to Revive Agriculture
President William Ruto vowed to revive the agricultural sector to avoid overreliance on imports. The head of state launched a fertiliser subsidy programme to cushion farmers against economic distress.
Fertilizer prices were reduced from Ksh7,000 to Ksh3,500, with over 1.3 million farmers registering for the subsidised product.
Further, Ruto vowed to promote irrigation farming which he argued was key to increasing food production.
In its inaugural budget presented on Thursday, June 15, the Kenya Kwanza administration proposed allocating Ksh5 billion to the Fertiliser Subsidy Program.