In an effort to contribute its quota at ensuring the availability of food globally especially in the developing economies, the Israeli government has said it has trained over 230 Nigerian farmers in Israel on various agricultural technology to acquaint them with modern techniques of farming and innovations in drought management.
The training is done under MASHAV – Israeli International Development Cooperation which is an acronym in Hebrew.
Mr Nadav Goren, the Deputy Chief of Mission, disclosed this on Wednesday during a round-table interaction with journalists at the embassy in Abuja.
According to him, the 230 Nigerians were trained in Israel on various agricultural skills between 2017 and 2018 and have been empowered with technological tools that enable them to expand their farming system in the country.
Mr Goren called on the Nigerian government to take advantage of Israel’s innovation in technology and collaborate with them to develop the agricultural potentials that are been threatened by climate change especially in the northern parts of the country.
The diplomat assured that Israel can assist Nigeria in addressing the challenges of drought in the northern part which has caused the herders to migrate south of the country thereby resulting in crisis with farmers.
He said that Israel wants a more stronger relations with Nigeria and the entire African continent, stressing that Israel is the only country in the world that shares borders both land and waters with Africa.
Israel is returning to Africa because it cares about the present and the future of the continent, the envoy said.
“MASHAV has been in existence for a very long time. Her official overseas development cooperation was launched in 1958 and has gained widespread recognition for its work in countries throughout the developing world for almost four decades.
Israel’s – Centre for International Cooperation (MASHAV is the Hebrew acronym) assists countries striving to alleviate shared global problems – hunger, disease, and poverty – by means of technical training and technology transfer needed to achieve a decent quality of life.
What started as a modest program focused on grassroots – level human capacity building – at a time when Israel was still a developing country has blossomed into an extensive program of cooperation throughout the developing world,” he added.
Yearly, between 50 to 70 Nigerian candidates are trained on scholarship in Israel in various fields, the deputy chief of mission said.
“MASHAV’s training programs do not attempt to impose any specific model of development, but rather encourage trainees to find their own solutions and adapt them to their respective cultural and social values, promote sustainable development, social equity, economic potential and natural resources, as well as to their regional priorities,” he added.
The minister had in January said that Nigeria would learn from Israeli expertise in science-based agricultural development.
Though over half of Israeli soil is semi-arid and only 20 per cent is actually arable, the Middle East country produces 95 percent of its food requirements.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – the political capital of the State of Israel just as the United States of America and other countries have done.
This according to them, would strengthen the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and their country.
Mr Barnea Hassid, Director African Department 2, West and Central African Affairs “Jerusalem is the Centre of the Jewish people. Jerusalem is the capital of our country and every one should respect it.
We want our friends all over the world that are yet to relocate their capital to Jerusalem to do so,” the envoys said.
While speaking on security, Mr Hassid said that Israel has in the past, suffered from terrorism attack which made them to develop a mechanism that has been helping them to defend their country.
He said, “Terrorism in any part of the world should not be allowed. Many country in the world are just getting to know about the effects of terrorism. Our country suffered from it before getting a solution.
We are ready to support any country that is willing to end terrorism because the aim of terrorists is to attack unarmed civilian populations.”
Hassid said, as close friends, Israel will love to receive the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari in the Jewish nation either on a formal or informal visit.
“We are hoping to have Nigeria as a close friend, we will hope to have Nigerian President in Isreal.
We hope to develop our relations with Nigeria because when our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with African leaders during the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African) meeting in June 2017 in Monrovia, Nigerian president was not in attendance,” Hassid added.
Hassid who said his country hope to join the African Union because of its proximity to Africa.