Tel Aviv is keen to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Phnom Penh to recruit Cambodians as agricultural labourers in Israel, in a plan that has earned widespread praise from the Kingdom.

The intent was raised by Orna Sagiv, newly-appointed Israeli ambassador to Cambodia with residence in Bangkok, during a meeting with Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon at the agriculture ministry on July 1, according to a statement posted on the minister’s official Facebook page.

Sakhon said in the statement that Israel has been a great partner in agricultural capacity-building, highlighting a 14-year-old internship programme for third-year university students that has allowed 1,469 students to study there.

Alumni of the internship programme have actively shared the personal insights and experiences gained from their time in Israel, especially regarding agricultural technology, to spur agricultural development in Cambodia, in line with a strategic plan to modernise the sector.

The statement underlined Sakhon’s support for the MoU and associated labourer recruitment project. “If it comes to be, it would help reinforce and expand the capacity of Cambodian farmers, both in theory and in practice, to apply modern Israeli agricultural technologies and practices.”

It added that ambassador Sagiv hopes that Cambodia’s Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will lend a hand in the plan and that an MoU could be signed in the near future.