Lankan agri workers return from Israel: Learn new trends in agriculture

Lankan agri workers return from Israel:

Learn new trends in agriculture

Osama bin Laden put ‘holy war” on global agenda

A batch of 300 Sri Lankan workers sent to Israel as seasonal
agricultural workers returned to the country last week after
successfully completing the agreement signed between Sri Lanka and
Israel. They were sent by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Agency (SLFEA)
last October for a period of six months under a pilot project.Israel is
world renowned for its use of modern and environmental friendly
technology in agriculture.

This team was given a one week training on Hebrew language and Israel
agricultural practices before they departed for Israel.

One of the workers W A Buddhika Ravinath (24) appreciated the
opportunity they received to be exposed to the widespread application of
high tech and cost effective agricultural mechanisms in Israel. He said
they learnt that these mechanisms have helped to create high

He said that the entire Sri Lankan team of labourers were highly
satisfied over the remuneration and other facilities they received from
Israel, adding that they were treated well during their stay.

“We were paid Rs 450 per hour and over time earning about Rs 100,000
to 250,000 per month. We were able to save from this amount as our
expenditure on food and accommodation was very less”, Ravinath said.

He also pointed out that some warned him not to go to Israel due to
the prevailing conflict. However, he said that the country’s safety was
ensured despite that.

H A Sugath Kumara (31), another woker sent to Israel, said that they
received great support from higher officials there and had a very
friendly working environment. Compared to his previous experience
working in Saudi Arabia, he said he witnessed more positive working
conditions in Israel. He also said that the Israel officials were highly
satisfied of the Sri Lankan group.

From left: W A Buddhika, A Chandana and Sugath Kumara.
Pictures by Ranjith Asanka

Kumara said that he had the opportunity to work with various
nationals and the majority were from Asia. Commenting on the modern
technology used for agriculture, he said that various types of
vegetables and fruits such as olive, carrot, orange, strawberry, grapes
and avocado are cultivated over large landscapes including deserts
despite adverse climate conditions.

“They supply water and fertilizer to cultivation through pipelines.
The entire system is automated. Pesticides are applied to the cultivated
lands from planes. Advanced technology is widely used for these tasks”,
he observed.

A Chandana (34) said that over 3,000 Sri Lankans are currently
working in Israel mostly as housemaids and part time workers. The
returning workers expressed their gratitude to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa and government as well as the Israel government, SLFEA
Chairman Asanka Abeygunasekara and the authorities of the Indian Embassy
for selecting them for this programme.

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