Labour and Skills Development PS Geoffrey Kaituko. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Kenyan farm workers to earn Sh230,000 in Israel

Kenya will export about 1,500 agricultural workers to Israel as casual labourers, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has announced.

But the deal will only go ahead if the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas comes to an end, the ministry told the Business Daily on Thursday.

The workers, the government said, will be paid $1,500 (about Sh230,000) per month on a three-year renewable contract with Israel, with the salary being a “guaranteed net income”.

Local agencies licensed by the Kenya National Employment Authority will implement the programme.

The opportunity came after successful talks on Wednesday evening between Labour and Skills Development PS Geoffrey Kaituko and Rami Cohen, managing director at Guri Avocados, an agricultural company based in Israel.

“Kenya to export labour for Israel’s agriculture field as casual workers. These opportunities number about 1,500 with a guaranteed net income of $1,500 per month, on a three-year renewable contract,” said the Labour Ministry.

Israel currently faces an acute labour shortage on its farms following a mass exodus of foreign workers since the start of the war with Hamas on October 7, which is now in its third month and shows no signs of ending soon.

At least 10,000 casual workers, mostly Thai nationals, are estimated to have left Israel in the past two months.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Israel banned Palestinian workers, who make up almost 20 per cent of the agricultural labour force, from working on its farms shortly after the war began.

In an interview with CNN last week, Israel said it needed 30-40,000 agricultural workers.

At least 32 Thai farm workers reportedly died, and several others were taken hostage when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, giving fodder to critics who have questioned the conditions the workers will face in Israel.