Water 4 Mercy launches Israeli’s technology for agri-tech in Embu, Kenya
Agriculture is a vital sector for Kenya, as it contributes to about 25% of the country’s GDP and employs more than 40% of the population. However, the sector faces many challenges, such as climate change, water scarcity, pests and diseases, low productivity, and market access. To address these issues, Kenya needs to adopt innovative and sustainable solutions that can enhance food security, income generation, and environmental conservation. One of the organizations that is working to achieve this goal is Water 4 Mercy, a not-for-profit based in the United States that has an innovative approach combining water access with agricultural solutions and community engagement that empowers sub-Saharan communities. Water 4 Mercy recently opened its first Israel-Kenya Don Bosco Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center in Embu County, Kenya (AITEC-EMBU), in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy, the local Don Bosco Technical Institutes, and CultivAid, an Israeli organization that specializes in agricultural development.
The AITEC-EMBU is a multifunctional farm that serves as a dynamic training center and innovative research hub, designed to train and equip local farmers with hands-on skills. The center shares Israeli knowledge and advanced water and agricultural solutions, such as drip irrigation, hydroponics, greenhouses, pest management, soil testing, and crop diversification. The center also helps to build local capacity and develop a self-sustainable model for communal partners. The project thereby supports the growth of the agricultural ecosystem throughout the county.
The AITEC-EMBU is part of a network of similar centers throughout the sub-Saharan region that are driving agricultural advancements. The centers offer a certified agriculture program and curriculum that they developed with CultivAid and are offered through select campuses of Don Bosco Technical Institutes of Africa. The program aims to grow a new generation of experts for the future of food and nutritional security. Additionally, the program provides agricultural training and technology to help farmers increase their yields and ensure their produce is exponentially more nutritious and more bountiful than before, empowering their economic prosperity and promoting human dignity.
The grand opening celebration of the AITEC-EMBU took place on August 31st, 2023, and included Israeli Ambassador H.E. Michael Lotem; Water 4 Mercy Founder and CEO Nermine Khouzam Rubin; Embu County Deputy Governor H.E. Kinyua Mugo; Don Bosco Technical Institutes of Africa Board Chairman Fr. George “TJ” Tharaniyil; CultivAid Co-Founder Tomer Malchi, PhD; and Don Bosco Embu’s Rector, Fr. Babu Augustine. The event showcased the achievements of the center and its impact on the local community.
The launch of AITEC-EMBU demonstrates the strong partnership between Israel and Africa and how Israeli technology can make a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of local community members. It shows the local youth that agriculture can be a profitable and exciting field to work in. It underscores that knowledge and technologies mitigate risk and that there are many hi-tech opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Water 4 Mercy’s innovative approach combines water access with agricultural solutions and community engagement, empowering individuals to thrive and transform their lives and future. Its holistic approach brings about a transformative impact on the people, improving health, education, economic opportunities, and overall quality of life in African communities.