“Israeli Innovation has the power to fight both climate change and the global water crisis"
Eran Pollak, co-founder and CEO of N-Drip, noted that "N-Drip's is introducing the revolution of precise irrigation based on Gravity alone the solution also includes an agricultural information and management system that uses precise sensors, an artificial intelligence system and a mathematical model"
For 5,000 years, the standard irrigation method in 85% of the world's fields has been flooding - flooding the field with amounts of water that can be two or three times higher than required. 12% of the greenhouse gas emissions from food production are caused by the flooding of rice fields in the world. With these data, Eran Pollak, co-founder and CEO of N-Drip, opened his lecture as part of Calcalist's Innovation Week.
"Every innovation can be told from two directions - the technological direction, the amazing software and the unique patent, these we of course have in N-Drip, but our story starts differently, because of the problem, why do we even need us?
“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 that illustrate the problem that N-Drip was trying to solve. "Jeff, a cotton farmer from Australia, comes from a family of farmers from the great cotton region of central Australia. He is an excellent farmer with a farm of thousands of acres. Just like all his neighbors he waters his cotton fields by flooding them - and like them, for over a decade he has been reducing the growing areas every year due to the lack of water.
"When I met him in the field and saw up close all the areas that Jeff had to dry out due to lack of water, I realized we were changing his world," he said.
"Jeff represents for us a business model of farmers who through N-Drip are changing a tradition of 5,000 years. He is part of a huge group farmers from the southwestern United States through Australia and many other countries, who hold an unfathomable amount of millions of acres, and have just been waiting for a technological and economic solution that will allow them to stop flooding their fields."
The second example is that of Christine, the VP of procurement at one of the largest food companies in the world that operates in 200 countries. "Christine is having a hard time managing the procurement of agricultural produce because - in India the water is running out, and in Arizona there is a terrible drought and we have already talked about Australia. What is Christine's connection to water? Well, the entire supply chain of the food company is based on the purchase of potatoes and corn from about 40,000 farmers directly. Their water shortage, of the farmer from India or Vietnam, directly affects Christine and the food company.
"But Christine and Jeff's problems do not stop with water.
"Extensive flood irrigation is one of the main causes of groundwater pollution, soil salinization and responsible for a very heavy share of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture," said Pollak.
"N-Drip's solution includes converting flood irrigated fields into a precise, sustainable irrigation technology which is based only on the ultimate renewable energy - gravity! By using the natural slopes of the field and the unique technology, N-Drip enables precise irrigation without the need for expensive infrastructure and energy which, until now, was associated with precise irrigation. In addition, N-Drip operates information and management system that uses precise sensors, an artificial intelligence system and a mathematical model. The system allows the farmer to really manage the field: to know when and how much to water, when to add fertilizer to the plants and accurately predict the level of crop expected at the end of the season. This combination allows the global food company, from Christine's story, to manage supply risks and streamline the logistics chain," he said.
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. "This connection makes N-Drip an amazing tool in the global fight against the damage of climate change."