Technological innovation at Netafim helps us stay ahead of the market and provide smart irrigation solutions for our customers around the world. Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass invented the micro-irrigation tube that ultimately became the first innovation of Netafim in the 1960s. From this brilliant but still fairly simple mechanism, we have developed an array of innovative irrigation products, each one addressing different agri challenges and improving the water, energy or yield efficiency of the growing process. For example, in 1978, we introduced a breakthrough in drip technology – pressure compensated dripper, developed by engineer Rafi Mehudar – which enables even distribution of irrigation water on uneven land. (Read more on our legacy site showing 50 Years of Drip Irrigation fueled by technology innovation.)
UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 is about innovation to support national infrastructures, inclusive and sustainable industrialization and technology research. Innovation should help improve employment levels, raise gross domestic product and improve the quality of life.
Innovation in drip is mostly about growing more with less (water, fertilizers and land) in ways that are compatible with varying agricultural conditions. Traditionally, a key challenge for drip irrigation has been clogging. Poor water quality clogs drippers. Our innovation process aims to address two issues simultaneously: first, improving filtration ability to cope with increasingly poorer quality of water used for irrigation and second, reducing the water pressure through the drippers. Enter low-flow drip. In 2015, we introduced the first of our next-gen drippers called Aries™, offering flow rates as low as 0.5 liters per hour which we believe is the most efficient drip system in the world today, helping farmers grow even more with even less. By comparison, when we started out five decades ago, the flow-rate was 4 liters per hour.
Our low-flow technology reduces the cost of irrigation, improves crop yields and saves valuable resources. This innovation contributes not only to agricultural efficiencies, but also supports industrialization and local economic development where our customers and suppliers do business. We continue to innovate. And we continue to support UN SDG Number 9.
Read more posts in our “Advancing the SDGs” series.