Israeli-based irrigation company Netafim was presented with the Stockholm Industry Water Award at World Water Week earlier this month. Netafim specializes in “smart drip” and micro-irrigation solutions targeted specifically for small and family-owned farms.
In the mid-1960's water engineer and Netafim founder Simcha Blass discovered the effectiveness of slow and steady drip irrigation for enhanced plant growth. Building on this realization Blass invented a drip-based tube for highly efficient delivery of water to plants.
Since that time Blass’ drip irrigation tube and the company it spawned has revolutionized sustainable agriculture. Netafim now operates in over 110 countries throughout the world.
Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of freshwater use, in some regions of the developing world that still rely on flood irrigation water use intensity is as high as 90 percent.
The Stockholm International Water Institute selected Netafim for the 2013 award for its groundbreaking innovation in smart drip and micro-irrigation products specifically for farms lacking access to large, expensive irrigation systems, especially those in the developing world. Without these drip irrigation systems, many small farmers are forced to rely on highly inefficient flood irrigation to water their crops, creating inefficiencies in both water use and plant growth.
"Grow more with less"
In a world of increasingly constrained water resources, finding a means irrigating crops more efficiently is essential for meeting the needs a growing world population.
...with rapidly expanding demand for agricultural products there is a dire need to improve water productivity. Netafim’s remarkable achievements, helping farmers across the world to ‘grow more with less’, are directly contributing to a more water and food secure world,” said the Stockholm Industry Water Award Committee in its award citation.
"We are turly honored to receive the award," said Netfim CEO Igal Aisenberg:
"With water and land scarcity topping the list of today's major global challenges, we're leveraging our expertise and experience in drip technology to help combat food price inflation, ensure food security and achieve water sustainability," Aisenberg said in a statement. "This prestigious aware is testimony to our efforts, inspiring us to continue to help reduce water usage and make the world a better, more sustainable place."
Main image credit: Gardening in a Minute, courtesy flickr