The First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto, has officially commissioned the 2023 cohort of the Mashav Agricultural Training Programme at State House.
In her speech, Mama Rachel Ruto congratulated the selected participants and urged them to take advantage of the life-changing opportunity the programme offers.
“This is a life-changing programme. You are so blessed and privileged to embark on a journey that will change you as an individual and as a cohort, you will impact Kenya in a big way,” Mama Rachel Ruto said.
She stressed that the Mashav programme is a testament to the strong bond between Kenya and Israel, where knowledge and experience are shared between the two nations.
Established in 1957, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Mashav, plays a pivotal role in designing, coordinating, and executing the State of Israel’s development cooperation initiatives.
Acknowledging the successful history of cooperation between Kenya and Israel, Mama Rachel Ruto emphasized the importance of the programme in equipping participants with modern agricultural skills through hands-on learning. She urged them to maximise this opportunity for their personal growth and for the betterment of Kenya.
She also highlighted the Kenyan government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which prioritises agriculture for economic growth, food security, job creation and industrialisation.
Mama Rachel Ruto encouraged the participants to embrace this agenda and contribute to its success.
“The knowledge you will gain in Israel should not be confined to you. I hope you will return to Kenya with new skills, fresh perspectives and a burning desire to contribute to the betterment of our nation and the world at large,” said Mama Rachel Ruto.
Reflecting on Proverbs 23:12, “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge,” Mama Rachel Ruto urged the participants to be open to learning and committed to making a positive impact in their communities.
The event highlighted Israel’s leadership in agricultural production and the potential for participants to learn from the best in the field.
The training programme, which will take place at the Arava International Centre for Agricultural Training (AICAT), is seen as an inspiring platform for creating solutions for agriculture in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), which cover 80% of the country’s land area.
Mama Rachel Ruto concluded by expressing her excitement to see the results of their training and the transformative impact they will have on their communities and the nation as a whole.
Speaking during the event, Drova Dorsman Yarkoni, the Deputy Head of Mission of Israel in Kenya said; “We aspire to have as many AICAT Alumni as possible harness their training to be successful in the Kenyan Agriculture sector. The goal is to give these young, educated, and skilled individuals a chance to become successful agripreneurs by providing innovative solutions on food production and food security in Kenya.”
PS Kello Harsama from the State Department of Crop Development encouraged the participants to bring back the skills they will learn in Israel to help spur Kenya’s agricultural development.
The ceremony was a resounding call to action, inspiring a cohort of change-makers who will transform Kenya’s agricultural landscape and contribute to the nation’s growth and prosperity.
Dignitaries including Drova Dorsman Yarkoni, Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Yahel Margogosky Lotem, spouse of the Ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Kello Harsama, Principal Secretary of the State Department of Crop Development, Roseline K. Njogu, Principal Secretary, State Department for Diaspora Affairs and Beatrice Inyangala, Principal Secretary of the State Department for Higher Education and Research, attended the event. Also present were Prof. Paul Wainaina, Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University, and a host of distinguished guests.