The story of Netafim starts in 1965, when Simcha Blass, an Israeli water engineer, made a per chance discovery of the wondrous potential of drip irrigation. Netafim irrigation was founded in later that year through a joint venture by Simcha Blass and Kibbutz Hatzerim. Since then, the goal of helping farmers to grow more with less has taken Netafim from pioneer to global leader in drip and micro-irrigation solutions. The company’s vision is to lead the way and promote global change, considering the way water is used for irrigation.
Today, more than 50 years since the company was founded, Netafim is proud to have more than two million customers and ten million hectares drip irrigation in over 110 countries, served by 28 subsidiaries and 17 manufacturing plants across the globe. Since 1965, these plants have manufactured a collective 150 billion drippers.
Netafim in South Africa
Netafim has been active in South Africa for more than two decades and has grown into the market leader in drip irrigation technology across Southern Africa. Netafim South Africa was established in 1992. Its cornerstone is its manufacturing plant in Cape Town. The facility is ISO 9001:2008 certified and strictly adheres to the most stringent quality standards.
“This has allowed us to build a reputation for outstanding quality in product and service delivery,” says Willem Botha, marketing manager of Netafim South Africa. “By delivering technologically advanced products, we help our customers to address today’s modern irrigation challenges as well as meet their business goals.”
A positive impact
According to Botha, the positive impact of drip irrigation on a crop production system can be tremendous as it increases crop yield, quality and consistency, and allows systems to use less water per unit. “We have seen instances where the installation of drip irrigation has led to crop productivity increasing by up to 150%, water savings of up to 50% and fertiliser savings of up to 30%. Furthermore, it saves manpower and enhances crop planning.”
Another great advantage of drip irrigation systems is that it works effectively regardless whether the field is sloped, marginal or irregularly shaped. It is also suitable to a great variety of crops, various water and soil types, as well as most climatic conditions.
The agricultural industry has a non-negotiable responsibility to work in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner. It is also in achieving this goal, that the drip and micro-irrigation solutions offered by Netafim play a major role.
“Drip irrigation has many environmentally-friendly advantages and has proved these advantages in the field. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy savings,” says Botha. More advantages include the prevention of soil erosion and chemical runoff, reducing the amount of nutrients seeping into reservoirs/aquifers and slowing down desertification.
An important focus throughout the many subsidiaries of Netafim, is to support their focus on delivering solutions based on drip irrigation technology with technical agronomical knowledge sharing. “It is very important for us to provide ongoing support and training in order to ensure that all participants in a particular project are well equipped to manage the system at optimal efficiency.
“The knowledge in Netafim South Africa, through its people and the support from Netafim International, is the key to its success in this region. Netafim values knowledge sharing and makes a difference wherever it gets the opportunity to help with the development of skills or where advice is needed with regards to irrigation in general,” says Botha. – Marike Brits, AgriOrbit
Keep an eye on AgriOrbit in the coming months for more on Netafim South Africa and the advantages of drip irrigation.
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