Flooding has been the most common method of irrigation in 85% world’s fields for over 5,000 centuries. Flooding the field with water can cause damage to the soil and cause it to become more saturated than necessary. Flooding rice fields around the world is responsible for 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. These data were the basis for Eran Pollak’s lecture, which was part of Calcalist’s Innovation Week.
“Every innovation can be told in two directions: the technological direction, the incredible software, and the unique patent. These we have in N-Drip. But our story begins differently because of the problem. Why do we even need them?
“N-Drip’s story stems from one of the great problems of today, climate change and the global water crisis,” he said.
Pollak gave two examples of the problem N-Drip was trying solving. “Jeff, a Australian cotton farmer, is from a family of farmers in central Australia’s great cotton region. He is a skilled farmer who has a farm covering thousands of acres. Like his neighbors, he floods his cotton fields with water – and just like them, for more than a decade, he’s been reducing the area of his cropping areas each year because of the lack in water.
“When I met Jeff in his field and saw the dry areas, I realized we were making a difference in his world,” he stated.
“Jeff represents for our a business model of farmers that through N-Drip are changing an tradition of 5,000 year.” He is part of a large group of farmers from the southwestern United States to Australia, and many other countries. They have an unfathomable number of acres and are waiting for a technological or economic solution that will stop flooding their fields.
Christine, the VP for procurement at one the largest food companies in the globe that operates in more than 200 countries, is the second. “Christine is having difficulty managing the procurement of agricultural products because – in India, the water is running dry, and in Arizona, there is a terrible drought. We have already spoken about Australia. What is Christine’s connection with water? The entire supply chain for the food company is built on the purchase of potatoes from around 40,000 farmers. Christine and the food business are directly affected by the water shortage of the farmer from India, Vietnam, or both.
“But Christine & Jeff’s problems are not limited to water.
Pollak said that extensive flood irrigation is one cause of groundwater pollution and soil salinization. It also contributes to a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions to agriculture.
“N-Drip’s solution involves converting flood-irrigated areas into a precise, sustainable irrigation system that is only powered by gravity. N-Drip uses the natural slopes of the fields and the unique technology to enable precise irrigation without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure or energy that was previously associated with precise irrigation. N-Drip has an information and management platform that utilizes precise sensors and an artificial intelligence system. The system allows farmers to manage their fields: they can know when and how to water them, when to fertilize them and what the crop yield will be at the end of each season. This combination allows the global food business, as Christine’s story shows, to manage supply risk and streamline the logistics chain,” said he.
Regarding N-Drip’s innovation he said, that it boils down to a connection between an exceptional engineering solution and business models that allow for rapid adoption, especially in such a conservative and complex industry. N-Drip is an incredible tool in the global fight to combat the climate change damage.