JOHANNESBURG (Oct. 1)
In two major pilot projects to empower the black community of South Africa, Israeli experts are helping to introduce the moshav system into farming areas outside Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The projects involve a partnership that includes the Israeli government, Ben- Gurion University of the Negev, two South African agricultural training centers and the local Jewish community.
Israel has pledged to send two agricultural experts, one of whom specializes in irrigation and the other in poultry farming, to South Africa for a period of four years to establish and run the pilot agricultural projects.
The experts are being sent to South Africa through Mashav — Israel’s Center for International Cooperation.
Both projects will be modeled on the Israeli moshav system, which combines some of the features of cooperative and private farming, and will involve some 500 South African farmers in the training programs.
Ze’ev Luria, counselor to the Israeli Embassy, discussed the Israeli government’s involvement in the projects during a recent ceremony to mark the handing over of some of the land that will be used in the training projects.
“I believe that Israel is able to share its own experiences with the developing communities in South Africa,” Luria said at the ceremony. “We in Israel have gone through many stages of development within a relatively short period of time, and we have the will and the capacity to implement similar projects of sustainable developments in your country.”
Luria said he hoped that the projects would be replicated by other communities in South Africa.
Bertie Lubner, president of the South African Associates of Ben-Gurion University, said, “South Africa’s Jewish community has resolved to be an integral part of the country’s `rainbow nation’ — not only with words, but also with deeds.”