Diploma Program

General Information

AICAT – Arava International Center for Agriculture Training is pleased to invite students to participate in a professional and successful agricultural program based on “Learning by Doing “.
The program is intended for undergraduates students in agricultural institutes mostly in Asia
(Vietnam, Myanmar, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, East-Timor) and Africa
(Ethiopia and Kenya).
The program will be held over 10 months (the whole agricultural season).
Students will live on farms in the Arava region where they will be exposed to the high technologies
and the advanced agriculture.
AICAT impact on graduates lives is in various aspects:

Social Impact

The students become community leaders and agricultural mentors, and change their way of thinking from a traditional way to an  innovative one,  "out of the box" thinking.

Academic Impact

The students go back to their home countries with theoretical and practical tools crucial for their countries'
food safety and security, and  are Pursuing higher academic education in Israel and abroad.

Economic Impact

Our graduates establish successful model farms and business.
Graduates integrate professionally in the public and private sector.
 

Economic Model

During the mentoring program, students receive a salary for their practical training on the farm. This enables the student to cover  expenses such as: academic tuition, living expenses, rent, food and a return flight home.
Students will be able to return to their country of origin with an initial amount of money which they have saved during the academic year. This money can be used to initiate, implement or continue an agricultural project in their country in which the knowledge they have gained during the program will be reflected.

As we follow up our graduates, we witness them leading change and development in the areas where they come from.

Some countries continue to support their graduates after the program and help them to implement the knowledge they have acquired.

Thailand – In all the agricultural colleges with which the students are connected, our graduates apply the agricultural knowhow they have acquired in the Arava to establish model farms which take local factors into account. The farms utilise Israeli irrigation technology supplied by Netafim, Amiad’s filtering systems and more. The farms are called the “ARAVA FARM” and every graduate wishing to join must acquire a financial share in the project.

Laos - Under the guidance of their group leader, students are attempting to duplicate the Thai project. Their initial proposal to their university has been accepted. The students are at present in the planning stages of the project and are raising money to fund it.

Nepal - The Ministry of Agriculture in Nepal has offered each of its 2015 graduates US$ 1000 to implement an entrepreneurial agricultural project. Their purpose is to encourage young people to return to their villages and engage in other forms of agriculture. 

Myanmar - Some of our graduates serve as instructors at an agricultural training centre in the areas they come from.


 

Details and Conditions Acceptance to the Program

The Israeli embassies in the students’ countries of origin provide assistance in identifying factors which will enable collaboration with suitable universities.
AICAT works in close cooperation with the relevant foreign embassies. They are offering their support to AICAT as well as solving certain problems related to the welfare of the students.

  • Contact with students is made and the initial selection process is done by the students’ academic institution in accordance with the terms of agreement it has signed with AICAT.
  • Every student is required to be interviewed by an AICAT representative.


Required Criteria

  • An academic background in agriculture, biology etc. – with an attached document from the educational institution confirming this
  • Age 20 to 30
  •  Health declaration, signed
  • A standard medical examination
  •  passport, valid for at least two years
  • Basic English (In some institutions, the selected group of students will need to undergo a short training course which includes English language study and computer skills).
  • Willingness to participate in a year of intensive study together with practical training on the ground
  • An open and curious mind, an ability to lead change and leadership qualities
  • A desire to come and make a difference

Concurrently, AICAT prepares itself for the arrival of the new intake of students during the month of August.

Curriculum

The curriculum is built in consultation with the academic institutions in the students’ countries of origin. It is re-evaluated annually and improvements are made to the curriculum accordingly, taking into account the continued advancement in agriculture and the changing needs and demands of the countries of origin.
Some academic institutions give credit towards a university degree for some of the courses covered in the program. We are aiming to reach a similar agreement with all the countries we work with.
The curriculum is divided into two main areas of study: agriculture and economics.

Agriculture
  • The main part of the study of agriculture includes practical training on the farm mentored by a farmer. Students are exposed to advanced technology and are expected to carry out their own agricultural research project.  
  • Students study basic theoretical and practical introductory courses in the different fields of agriculture: vegetable growing as a basis for plant sciences, irrigation and fertilization, aquaculture, orchards, flower growing, mechanization and plant protection.
  • Students take a methodology course which introduces the foundations of scientific research on which they will base the research project they are expected to carry out.
 
Economics

(Frontal lecture and the professional tours constitute an average of 13 ½ academic hours a week.)

 
Practical Training on a Farm
Every students undergoes a practical training on a farm which operates according to advanced world standards in agriculture. Students live on a farm under suitable conditions. The farmer is the main supervisor for the mentoring program, guiding the student through the practical study of modern agriculture, from the choice of technology to determining which varieties to plant.
According to the law, students are paid a fair wage for their practical training on the farm. Practical study is important because it enables students to understand and apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained.
Each group of students has a group leader (an outstanding former graduate of AICAT) who is part of the AICAT staff for the duration of the course.  
 
Research Project
The research project is one of the pillars of the curriculum, linking the practical training carried out by the farmer with the theory. Throughout the duration of this project, students acquire the ability to think scientifically and ask questions, plan an experiment which will answer those questions and the ability to reach conclusions and lead change.
The student is immersed in the research project throughout his year of study and is involved in planning and carrying it out, collecting the necessary data, analysing it and drawing the relevant conclusions. The student is expected to submit the findings of his/her work in writing and present them in a power point presentation. The mark attained for this project will appear on the student’s final diploma.
The project is supervised by a member of the AICAT staff who is academically qualified and has an undergraduate degree (or higher) in the discipline of study. Students present the results of their projects in front of the group, the supervisor, the farmer and a representative from AICAT.
 
Diploma Program Courses
Plant Biology and Physiology
Soil, Irrigation and Fertilization
Agricultural structures and high-technology methods
Plant Protection and Pest Control
Aqua-Culture Farming methods
Flower Production
Viticulture + Orchard
Animal Husbandry
Economic Management
Management information systems of agriculture farm
Marketing
Financial Analysis
Entrepreneurship
Quality Management
Introduction to Food Security
Computer Application
Project Methodology
Project Presentation
Mechanics
Field Project
Decision-making process (workshop)
Community leadership (workshop)
Life Skills (workshop)
* The list of courses varies according to the annual study program