From May 21 to 23rd, twenty-four Palestinian officials, mostly agricultural engineers, attended a three-day seminar on agricultural technologies, plant protection, and fertilisers in Netanya. The lectures were delivered by Israeli experts, professors and officials from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture.
“This workshop is intended to provide information about technologies that we use in Israel to protect and improve crops in open-fields and green houses”, said Ayman Assad, from the Agriculture Department at the Civil Administration.
The seminar is one of many Israeli-Palestinian workshops planned for 2012. “Through these workshops we are improving the relationship, cooperation and communication with the Palestinian Authority”, added Ayman Assad. The Civil Administration offers full board to the Palestinian guests, including travel and meal coverage.
Sitting by the hotel swimming pool during lunch break, Najud, a 23 year-old agricultural engineer from Jericho confides: “I’m happy to learn here, the lectures are very intense and I wish we had more time to visit!”
The Agriculture Department of the Civil Administration works with Palestinian farmers in the field to find out more about problems affecting their trade. Based on this, the Ministry of Agriculture organizes seminars, lectures and training in Israel to increase the quality and output of Palestinian crops, explained Shlomo Ekaïam from the Ministry.
“Palestinians and Israeli consumers eat fruit and vegetables coming from Israel and the West Bank, so we collectively strive for the best agricultural standards”, he added.
Muhammad Saïd Lahan, Director of the Flower and Vegetable Protection and Preservation Department at the Palestinian Authority knows Netanya wll: “I came here many times, maybe 8 or 10 times. It is important for our team to come because 16 of us are young engineers who need experience and more field-training.”
On Wednesday, the Palestinian delegation was taken to Beit Shean for training on open-fields.
“We also organize seminars in Ramallah in our own Ministry or abroad where we are often invited”, added Mr. Lahan.