14 April 2016 - 6 Nisan 5776 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Indonesian students turn to Israel to learn agriculture E-mail

Fifty-two students f rom Eas t Nusa Tenggara in eastern Indonesia recently spent 10 months in Arava, Israel.

At the Arava International Center of Agriculture Training (AICAT), they learned to man­age the dry land to make it fer­tile and productive. Like the soil in Arava, the soil in East Nusa Tenggara is very dry and there is very little water.

As well as agriculture, the students learned about aqua­culture (fishery) in the desert, pests, plant diseases and basic IT skills, under the supervision of mentors and instructors in Is­rael. Joining them on the train­ing programme were students from Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, Laos and even Sudan and Ethio­pia.

This new programme was initiated in East Nusa Tenggara by Agus Suherman, an Indo­nesian of Chinese descent and a faithful Catholic with a true love for Israel. His mission is to send as many agriculture stu­dents as possible to Israel, using his own money plus donations from local businessmen.

Each student needs around US$10,000, or 100.000.000 IDR (Indonesian Rupiahs). When I asked him why he wanted to do that, his answer was very much a spiritual re­sponse: “Because God says I [God] will bless Israel. So I just follow what God said; I learned from blessed people.”

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