Rice is nice. Nicer with drip.

It’s not surprising that we are so interested in rice. A major food staple in many parts of the world, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans (Wikipedia). Around 160 million hectares of rice are cultivated each year around the world – that’s about 50 times the size of Belgium! So, it’s not surprising that we would want to focus our energies on developing ways to improve the quality and yield of rice as well as reduce the amount of water required in the process. Of course, we also enjoy a significant environmental effect, as rice cultivation with drip reduces the emission of greenhouse gases compared to paddy rice.
With that in mind, we partnered with the Institute of Rice of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine (NAAS) to hold The International Workshop on Modern Technologies of Rice Cultivation, Global Food and Environmental Safety in Ukraine last August. Sharing knowledge and creating partnerships is a way of life at Netafim, and the workshop builds on our collaboration with the National Institute of Rice in the Ukraine and our joint development of three experimental plots of 79 hectares each for cultivation using drip irrigation. Not only this, according to Latifundist.com, drip irrigation is 60% lower in cost than other irrigation methods in Ukraine.
At the international workshop, Netafim agronomists came from many parts of the world to share expertise, insights and recommendations with regards to rice cultivation. Many success stories were quoted from Turkey, India, Brazil and other countries. In addition, an further benefit of drip irrigation was highlighted – the reduced accumulation of arsenic in rice grain compared to traditional flooding methods of rice cultivation. This makes drip-grown rice a healthy option, suitable even as an ingredient for baby foods.
Sustainable rice, growing more with less, has been a Netafim objective for many years now. We won’t rest until all the world’s rice is grown with drip. That would make a significant contribution to global sustainable development.

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Image courtesy Latifundist.com

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