Some 200 students from Small Farmers families from Nepal will be leaving for Israel for advanced agricultural training this year.

The first batch of 55 students will leave in the middle of August this year. They will receive training at the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) in Negev, Israel, according to a press release issued jointly by the Embassy of Israel in Kathmandu and capital-based Small Farmers Development Bank.

Israeli Ambassador to Nepal Hanan Goder, CEO of the Small Farmers Development Bank Jalan Kumar Sharma and Nepal’s foreign ministry officials bid the first batch of students farewell during an Orientation programme organised for them on Thursday.

The training consists of one full day of theoretical study and five full day research in a week-oriented practical work, for which they will be paid a salary according to Israeli standards. At the end of the training, the students are required to make a presentation on their findings and submit a research paper in AICAT.

The students were selected through lottery and interviews from among the family members of Small Farmers Agriculture Cooperatives (SFACLs) associated with the Small Farmers Development Bank. The first batch of students are from Dhading and Makawanpur districts.

According to the press release, after returning from the training, the students are expected to share their knowledge apply modern technology and learned skills from Israel with the fellow farmers in Nepal. These students are also expected to engage in agricultural projects with the support from the Small Farmers Development Bank in order to bring changes in the quality of life of small and marginalised farmers. The Bank has its commitments for the financial support through concerned SFACLs to the retrunees to start their own agricultural business and enterprise in their locations in Nepal.