The agriculture minister has asked Israel to increase the number of student internships in agriculture available for Cambodians, to meet the human resource needs of the Kingdom’s agricultural sector in the modern age.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon made the plea at a meeting with Israeli agricultural capacity-building company AgroStudies on June 13, according to a post on his official Facebook page.

In the post, Sakhon underscored that Israel has been an exceptional partner of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in agriculture, providing third-year Cambodian students – through AgroStudies – a chance to go on internships there since 2008.

He said the internships, generally 11 months long, increase students’ technical knowhow through theoretical and practical training for new agricultural technologies, for them to develop themselves and introduce the newly gained skills and knowledge to their home countries.

“Graduates have been actively involved in promoting the modern agricultural technologies that they have become habituated to – some work for companies and others run their own agricultural businesses.

“We urge the company [AgroStudies] to continue to strengthen and expand this cooperation and increase their intake of students to meet the human resource needs of the agricultural sector – which are on a steady uptrend, providing tailwinds for the development of a modern agricultural sector in Cambodia that is competitive, inclusive, climate-change resilient, innovative and supports the national economy,” he was quoted as saying.

AgroStudies CEO Yaron Tamir likewise said the ministry has always been very cooperative, adding that the 14-year-old agriculture capacity-building internship programme has achieved remarkable results, according to the post.

Tok Chanraksmey, a former intern, confirmed that Israel uses the latest technology in agriculture, allowing Cambodian students with the opportunity to study there a chance to develop the industry in the Kingdom.

“Studying in Israel is a great opportunity for all students to learn more about the agricultural practices of this country, the world’s number one agricultural country. And when they return to Cambodia, they have to apply the knowledge and experience [gained] … to develop our country,” he said.

According to RUA, a total of 1,469 Cambodian students have studied in Israel through the programme since its inception.