The Government of Niger State and the Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV), Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have agreed to formalize their collaboration on agricultural training.

 Israel and Niger State sign agricultural training agreement

 

Deputy Director General and head of MASHAV Ambassador Divon, Ambassador Katz and the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, after signing the MAITC Framework for Collaboration

(Communicated by the Israeli Embassy in Abuja)

A Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the collaboration at the Maizube Abu Turab International Training Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (MAITC), was endorsed by the two parties in Minna, the state capital on Sunday.

Ambassador Haim Divon, Head of MASHAV, signed the framework agreement on behalf of his organization, while the Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure signed for his government. The agreement is aimed at enhancing the cooperation in agricultural training in the state as well as installing an Israeli professional/academic manager for the training center. The agreement is for three years, and could be extended thereafter.

Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the Government House in Minna, Ambassador Divon said he was deeply impressed by the Governor’s vision and leadership and expressed his appreciation for choosing MASHAV to be a partner in such an endeavour. He added: “we are committed to being your long term partner for the betterment of your people.”

In his own remarks, Governor Kure said the government was lucky to have the head of MASHAV visit the State particularly for the agreement signing programme. He said it is common knowledge that the State of Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world in agricultural development. “I hope that whatever we do together will be of real benefit to our people”, the governor remarked.

The visiting Head of MASHAV was accompanied to MAITC by Mr. Zvi Herman, Director of Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO), in Israel, Mr. Noam Katz, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, and Mr. Yair Frommer, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Israel, Abuja.

MAITC’s activities are based on the accumulated experience in agricultural training in Niger State, which is a product of the successful collaboration between MASHAV, Niger State government and two private farms: Maizube Farms Ltd and the Abu-Turab Farm Ltd. The Center enjoys the strong support of the Nigerian Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Special Program on Food Security (NSPFS). The Center’s primary goal is to introduce internationally gained knowledge and expertise to Nigerian and neighbouring West-African farmers and to encourage the merger of modern methods with more traditional existing agricultural practices.

In 2005, the Government of Niger State decided to expand the agricultural training and research activities in the State and to work towards the creation of a fully-operational International Training Center for agriculture and rural development. A similar commitment was made by Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who gave access to all the modern facilities of Maizube Farms, for which he is the proprietor. Since then, the vision of MAITC has started to become real, and an extensive curriculum was designed together with MASHAV consultants.

MAITC’s courses are attracting agronomists, veterinarians, researchers, extension officers and farmers from all over Nigeria and from neighbouring countries. During the two-week workshops, they are learning and experiencing up-to-date methods of production, processing and management, and are exposed to the most advanced Israeli technologies in these fields. The Center is committed to the highest level of professional training for sustainable agricultural development and to carry out field studies at the highest level on local crops and livestock. It offers an outstanding foundation for the desired exchange of international knowledge and experience for the benefit of the people of Niger State.