Vice chancellor of Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN), Professor Shalaulani Nsoso says their three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel will help improve commercial farming.
Nsoso said through the partnership they are trying to help students move away from the mentality of focussing on the production part of agriculture and to appreciate the importance of engaging in commercial farming.
“We have been part of the programme for three years now and it stems from a MoU between our government and that of Israel,” Nsoso said.
Nsoso was speaking at a ceremony to welcome 35 students who were returning home last week after a year’s training in Israel. The returning students are in third year and will complete their studies at the university. The third batch will depart for Israel next week. One of the participating students, Thatayotlhe Hane, is confident in the skills she acquired.
Hane said she now understands the value chain of agriculture and the importance of each step in the process.
“I knew Israel has similar climate to our own so I wanted to find out how they have managed to get around
They specifically focussed on commercial agriculture through the Israeli government’s MASHAV international cooperation programme.
BUAN’s transformation coordinator, Dr Mataba Tapela said upon returning the students go through an entrepreneurship-training course courtesy of the Israeli government.
Tapela said this is mean to assist the students to properly apply the skills they acquired to start businesses in Botswana that utilise the smart technology, better water management and use of high value crops in agriculture common in Israel. Besides the training provided to the students the college also collaborates with BUAN in research, staff exchange and they also have a plan to start a joint programme for both Degree and Master’s levels.
The Israeli government has also donated some irrigation equipment to BUAN, which is currently being used in horticulture.