Fifteen students from the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) will travel to Israel to pursue an 11-month international programme at the Ramat Nagev International Training Centre that is aimed at exposing them to advanced technology and training in agriculture.

The students, who will depart the island next week, are drawn from the Bachelor of Science degree programme in technology, plant science, animal science and environmental science.

As part of the training, the 15 students will live in different Ramat Negev farms and will pursue studies in 17 courses, including animal science, basic business management skills, computer skills, and Israel’s history and culture.

In a statement, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture said the training is a direct outcome of an initiative by the Economic Growth Council and Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, who visited Israel last year and met with Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, His Excellency Uri Yehuda Ariel.

Addressing them at a briefing at the Ministry’s St. Lucia Avenue offices in New Kingston on Wednesday, the Ministry said Shaw urged the students to take their mission to the Middle Eastern country seriously.

“Jamaica is in need of your productivity. Jamaica is in need of what you will learn and bring back so that we, too, can build our levels of productivity in this country. Do not take this opportunity for granted,” Shaw was quoted as saying.

Shaw reportedly informed that next year the programme will target 50 students.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, President of CASE, Dr Derrick Deslandes, said the initiative represents an important moment as it aligns with the institution’s goal to transform itself to play a critical role in the development of Jamaica’s agricultural sector.

Deslandes also emphasised the important role of the students in this regard and the need for more technology to be used in agricultural practices in Jamaica.