Innovative Israeli farming program benefits Africans

Many people throughout the world may not believe there is much hope for making a living for high school drop-outs. Indeed, they may be destined to a life of poverty and struggle. However, this is not always the case thanks to a game-changing Israeli-developed farm therapy program – Kaima.

Israel21c reported in their April 2018 article Tanzania farm for at-risk youth modeled on Israeli programon this novelty farming innovation designed to benefit at-risk youth who’ve previously dropped out of high school. This, in turn, allows them a chance to earn a decent living.

In the article, Abigail Klein Leichman reported that this Israeli program is now going to be implemented in the African nation of Tanzania.

The idea to model a Tanzanian program after the Israeli program (Kaima) developed when Tanzanian community developer and environmentalist Fabian Bulugu was in Israel earning his master’s degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“I was very interested in agriculture because Israelis came to Tanzania in the 1960s to help us grow crops at Lake Victoria with Israeli irrigation technologies,” he explains to Israel21c.

Bulugu further stated:

“I visited those sites and the farmers are still thankful to the Israeli people to this day.”

ISRAEL21c further reported that the goals of this game-changing farming program were to increase the educational and economic opportunities afforded to Kaima’s participants; broaden CSA offerings and Kaima’s customer base, as well as to encourage local hyroponic vegetable-growing among Jerusalem’s residents and business owners.

Bulugu decided to make an effort to implement a version of this farming program in his native Tanzania so that if may benefit Tanzanian youth.

Bulugu told Israel21c:

“In Tanzania we have only mandatory schooling up to age 15 and so we don’t really have dropouts,” Bulugu told Israel21c.

Bulugu further said,

“We have different problems, especially with youth unemployment after the age of 15 after primary school ends. They have no skills to prepare them for a profession. So I wanted to bring a gift from Israel to empower these youth.”

Bulugu went on to explain his long-term goals for the Tanzanian participants of this innovative farming program:

“After the youth learn the basics  on our farm for about a year, we want to set them up with microfinancing and guidance so they can establish their own farms and other young adults can learn from them. It’s a cascading model.”

Bulugu told Israel21c about his high hopes for the future success of his Tanzanian implementation of the program:

“I want this to be something the government will want to be involved in, so we want to have data to show the government that it’s worth funding. We will look at data such as the cost of production per tomato, for instance, and also data on outcomes for participants after a few years,” say Bulugu.

Beyond his hopes for the future, Bulugu further added that he has a goal for Kaima Tanzania to include a fish farm:

“Fish is very expensive in Tanzania. If we set up a site on our farm, they can use the water for irrigation and to raise fish as an added value. Everything is possible.”

About the Author
Allison Barksdale is a senior convergence journalism major at Abilene Christian University who has a heart for Israel and enjoys writing about Israel's numerous contributions in her spare time.
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