Drip- and micro-irrigation company Netafim’s technology that halves water use compared to other irrigation solutions while increasing crop yields has won the firm the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award.
The Israel-based company provides equipment and services in more than 110 countries and says more than 10 million hectares of farmland are irrigated with drip irrigation, a technology Netafim pioneered.
Some 70 percent of global freshwater is used for irrigation and with growing demand for agricultural products there is a huge need to improve water productivity, the Stockholm Industry Water Award Committee says. Netafim’s technology helps farmers “grow more with less” and contributes to water security, according to the committee.
In addition to its drip irrigation systems, Netafim provides farmers training in cooperation with organizations to help farmers in developing countries maximize yields with existing resources. In, Niger, for example, the company’s 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 programs in sustainable food production have helped more than 40,000 small farmers reduce waste on their farms and increased their incomes by 20 percent over three years, the company says.
Netafim also provides water-saving technology for mining and landscaping, helping companies improve productivity while reducing environmental impact.
Netafim will receive the Stockholm Industry Water Award at a ceremony on September 3 during the World Water Week in Stockholm.
Last year, PepsiCo’s won the Stockholm Industry Water Award for its more than 20 percent improvement in global water efficiency since 2006.
The 2013 award announcement comes as UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon warns that the world will run out of freshwater unless global efforts to improve water security are ramped up, the Guardian reports. The UN head has said a sustainable water supply should be addressed in the new set of goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals.