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The what, why and how of sustainable irrigation practices

26 Sep 2014

The definition of sustainability is “the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

It is also the essence behind everything we do, as water conservation and sustainability challenges have always been at the core of Netafim’s business, since its inception 50 years ago.

Named Stockholm Industry Water Award (SIWA) Laureate in 2013, “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,” the SIWA Selection Committee said in granting this prestigious award.

Netafim 2013 Laureate

As the world’s leading irrigation company, our vision is to drive mass adoption of drip irrigation to fight scarcity of food, water and land by becoming a world-wide drip irrigation solution of choice, delivering solutions that are reliable, simple and affordable and providing our customers with world-class support to ensure outstanding results.

Operating at the food-water-land nexus

Until now, the global community has addressed food, water and land scarcity as stand-alone challenges.  However, perceptions have changed and it is now generally recognised that all three issues are interlinked and should be addressed in a holistic way.  That's what we mean when we talk about the food-water-land nexus.

Food, Land, WaterDrip irrigation is one of the key tools operating at this nexus.  Through our work around the globe, we are involved in irrigation projects that enhance sustainable productivity - producing higher food output, while using less water with the same amount of arable land.  Its impact can be felt in local, national and regional economies, injecting economic prosperity into areas that have helplessly struggled to prosper till now.

In such an example, Netafim donated its dedicated smallholder solution, Family Drip System™ (FDS™) to an international agricultural development project in Kenya aimed at alleviating hunger and poverty in a particularly arid region.  Enabling drip irrigation in areas with limited water resources, the gravity-based FDS helped participating farmers improve their livelihood.

In turn, it also impacts on all three spheres/pillars of sustainability (that is environmental, social and economic).  Our aim is to make drip irrigation the accessible solution of choice for irrigated crops all over the world by 2020.

How?

  • By helping our customers achieve sustainable profitability

Through: Technology and innovation (delivering affordable technology to enable mass adoption of drip irrigation); agri-tech partnerships (engaging in global partnerships to advance technology uptake and adaptation to local needs); and smallholder solutions (increasing reach to smallholder farmers with tailored solutions).

  • By increasing awareness of the benefits of drip irrigation and access to drip around the world

Through: Access and education (raising awareness and educating farmers in the use of drip irrigation); policy support (maintaining active involvement in the UN and other forums to advance sustainable productivity policy); and private-sector collaboration (collaborating with major private-sector companies to drive sustainable productivity through their supply chain)

  • By conducting our business ethically, responsibly and transparently

Through: Employee engagement (ensuring employee engagement in our sustainability goals and ethical behaviour); lean supply chain (reducing our direct environmental impacts, and contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change; and end-of-life impact management (reducing our indirect environmental impacts through end-of-life dripper line recycling.

To read our 2013 sustainability report, please visit the following links:


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