Jobs for Africans: Kenya and other African countries is sending farm workers to Israel amid Hamas conflict

Agriculture Jobs for Africans in Israel amid Hamas war: In a notable move to address employment opportunities amidst global challenges, Kenya is actively sending farm workers to Israel for agriculture jobs amid the ongoing war with Hamas. This initiative in generating jobs for Africans, at the intersection of international labor collaboration and geopolitical tensions, is reshaping the landscape of jobs for Kenyans, jobs for Malawian, Kenya jobs and jobs in other Africa countries.

As many people not able to find enough career options, job opportunities, and jobs in Kenya, Malawi and other African countries.

Jobs for Africans: Many people from African countries like Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and others are finding good career opportunities through farm jobs and agriculture jobs in Israel.

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Agriculture Careers and Jobs Announcement for Kenyans

Kenya’s decision to dispatch farm workers to Israel comes on the heels of a similar move by Malawi, where 221 young individuals were sent to work on Israeli farms, triggering some backlash against the Malawian government.

In the case Kenya, casual laborers and farm workers are set to be deployed on three-year renewable contracts, guaranteeing a net monthly income of $1,500 (£1,195).

Jobs for African farm workers in Israel
Jobs for African farm workers in Israel

Israel, grappling with a significant labor gap on its farms following the mass exodus of over 10,000 migrant workers—primarily from Thailand—since the commencement of the conflict with Hamas in early October. This led to Israeli government authorities turn to African nations for workforce support.

Previously, Palestinian workers who were constituting nearly 20% of the agricultural labor force in Israel before the war. But, since the war erupted between Israel and Hamas, Palestine workers have been barred from employment, exacerbating the shortage.

Israel’s ambassador in Kenya, Michael Lotem, revealed plans to recruit farm workers from Uganda and ongoing recruitment efforts in Tanzania.

Lotem emphasized East Africa’s consideration for recruitment, citing successful student internship programs with these countries.

The labor shortage is attributed to the call-up of approximately 360,000 Israeli reservists for military service during the conflict. However, Lotem did not cite the departure of foreign nationals or work restrictions on Palestinians as contributing factors.

Israel agriculture ministry, indicating the need for 30-40,000 farm workers, reaffirms the severity of the labor deficit. Thus, generating jobs for Africans and majorly for people from Kenya, Malawi and other Africa countries.

Agriculture Jobs for Africans: Mixed reactions

The announcement has evoked mixed reactions in Kenya, particularly concerning the safety of the workers.

This concern arose from the tragic incident on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, resulting in the deaths of at least 32 Thai farm workers and the kidnapping of several others.

Tragically, Tanzanian student Clemence Felix Mtenga, present in Israel as an agriculture intern, lost his life in the attack, while another student, Joshua Loitu Mollel, remains missing.

Critics are raising questions about the working conditions the Kenyan workers might face in Israel. Past investigations, including one by the BBC in 2018, revealed unsafe working practices, unsanitary living conditions, overworking, underpayment, and unexplained deaths among migrant farm workers in Israel.

Kenyans, Malawi and other African nations workers taking agriculture jobs in Israel
Kenyans, Malawi and other African nations workers taking agriculture jobs in Israel

Human Rights Watch and other rights groups have expressed concerns about Israel’s treatment of foreign farm laborers.

Despite past allegations, Israel maintains that foreign workers have the same employment rights as Israeli citizens.

Israel’s ambassador in Kenya, Michael Lotem, assured that additional measures are now in place to ensure fair treatment, allowing foreign workers to file complaints that will be promptly addressed.

While some Kenyans support the deal, citing the urgent need for jobs amid Kenya’s unemployment crisis and rising living costs, there are valid concerns about the welfare and safety of workers in light of the ongoing conflict.

Malawi has also decided to send 5,000 more young people to work on Israeli farms for agriculture jobs despite calls to reconsider. The promise of secure employment and higher salaries has outweighed safety worries for many Malawian workers, though concerns persist about the impact of the conflict on their well-being.

What Malawi workers in Israel are saying?

Let’s look at what Malawians say, who shifted to Israel in November 2023 for jobs and work.

Andrew Chunga, aged 27, is part of the pioneering group of 221 Malawians who recently shifted and started work in Israel. Residing in a two-bedroom house on a farm in Gefen, central Israel, with two fellow Malawians, Chunga has spent his initial week tackling weeds.

His motivation for the move? “This is all about money. I am here for greener pastures. When I go home, I will be a millionaire,” he enthusiastically shares.

Chunga is eager about the job, emphasizing its significance in gaining agricultural skills and providing a substantial wage for his family back in Malawi.

While speaking to other Malawian workers in Israel, they highlight the stark contrast in employment prospects and salaries between Malawi and Israel, emphasizing the economic motivations behind their journey.

Jobs for Africans: Happy African farm workers
Happy African farm workers

Despite awareness of the conflict in Israel, Chunga dismisses much of the information circulating on social media as fake news, noting that only specific parts of the country are affected, not the entire nation.

According to these workers from Malawi, the employment agency provided comprehensive information about the conflict, assuring them of the safety of their designated work location, an assurance that holds true based on their experiences thus far.

After speaking with other Malawian and Kenyan workers, many reveal a shared narrative of being unemployed from last 3 years or so.

Many of them are holding diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, still they faced difficulty securing jobs and employment. Undeterred by the situation, they persisted, sending numerous emails to over 400 employers and employment agencies in their pursuit of opportunities, but still couldn’t be able to secure a single suitable job.

These African workers and labors are convinced that the ongoing conflict in Israel with Hamas, poses no direct threat to them.

They highlight implemented security measures such as missile detectors and safe houses, reinforcing their sense of safety and readiness to embrace the jobs and employment opportunities in Israel.

These jobs for Africans in Israel are surely alluring Malawi, Kenya and other African workers, as a good career prospect in securing a job.

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