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Drip-irrigation pioneers receive Stockholm Industry Water Award

Published by Guardian on Fri, 13 Sep 2013

NETAFIM, the pioneer and world-leading provider of drip and micro-irrigation technology, last week received the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award at a ceremony during the 23rd World Water Week in Stockholm. In the next few decades until 2050, global demand for water is expected to increase by 55 per cent. Agriculture stands out as the world's thirstiest sector, accounting for 70 per cent of global freshwater withdrawals. Finding ways to use this water more effectively is one of our time's most urgent challenges as water scarcity is listed as a primary global risk by scientists, business leaders and civil society. Today, more than ten million hectares of farmland are irrigated with drip irrigation, a technology pioneered by Netafim, dramatically improving water, energy and labour productivity. The use of drip irrigation typically halves water use compared to other irrigation solutions and at the same time increases crop yields. '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 citation. On receiving the prize, Netafim's President and CEO Igal Aisenberg said:'This great honour recognizes not only what drip technology has achieved till now, but also, more importantly, what it can, and should, achieve in the future. Given the world's rapidly-growing population and subsequent increase in demand for food and water over the next few decades, drip will significantly contribute to fighting water scarcity and improve food security. The road ahead is long, but we're committed to continue partnering with public and private organizations in helping to reduce water usage and make the world more sustainable.' Netafim has designed a specific solution for small holder farmers in developing areas. The Family Drip System', a gravity-based drip irrigation system, eliminates the need for labour-intensive bucket irrigation and saves water.Beyond innovating technical systems, Netafim cooperates with local organisations to provide training, capacity building, and transfer knowledge to help farmers in developing countries maximise their yields with existing resources. In, Niger, for example, application of the Family Drip System enabled farmers to more than triple their production of select fruits and vegetables. In India, Netafim's community irrigation systems and training programmes in sustainable food production have helped over 40,000 small farmers reduce waste on their farms and increased their incomes by 20 percent over three years. Netafim regularly holds seminars to educate farmers on water saving techniques around the world. Netafim is also a leading provider of water saving solutions for mining and landscaping, improving their productivity while reducing the environmental impact.Founded in Israel in 1965, Netafim today provides equipment and services in over 110 countries. The Stockholm Industry Water Award honours the business sector's contribution to sustainable water management. It recognises improved performance in production processes, new products, and management, as well as innovative approaches in water and wastewater technologies which together help to improve the worlds water situation. The Award was established in 2000 by the Stockholm International Water Institute in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
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