Htawshae Lum Hkawng from Myanmar, graduated from the diploma program in 2012.
"It was a really amazing program for me. This program has set me up with the tools I need for my life thanks to the combination of practical work in the farm and the theory we received in class. I learn how to start a farm from the most basic steps: Planting, Pruning, Feeding, Sterilizing, Irrigating and cleaning and then Harvesting, Packaging, Cleaning and maintaining the farm under the green houses and net houses. When I went back to my country I started working for the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) as an Organic Demonstration Farm Manager for one and half years. After that I worked as Food Security Program Coordinator.
During my working period in KBC I had to work with more than 500 farmers in different areas within Kachin State, Myanmar. I had learnt from Israel not only how to make agriculture but also how to start and run business successfully. While I worked in KBC I did not only demonstrated and applied agriculture techniques but I also started to run Agri-business which is producing and distributing the Agriculture products the farmers grow. I had to adapt the agriculture techniques I learned at AICAT to our indigenous knowledge. For example when we grew tomatoes in Israel we used the rope for standing tomatoes plants. But in my place I use bamboo and shelf, and feeding fertilizers, so on. In agriculture products we focus on rice because it is staple food in Myanmar. We teach the farmer growing technique, collecting the rice, milling and packaging it and distributing the rice to customers. In this, I applied what I have learned in AICAT.
One of my great turning points in my life is that I met my life partner in the Arava. She was also an AICAT student. We did not know each other before because since she is from the South and I am from the North of Myanmar. Thanks to AICAT, in 2013, April 9th we got married. Now we have a lovely and brave son and he is two and half years old. We gave him the name Htawshae Arava Hkawng Lum because we miss and love Arava."
In 2015 Htawshae joined the MSc program under the joint partnership of AICAT and Tel- Aviv University. He currently takes the last semester of the Program. We wish him success in his future endeavors in the agricultural sector.