Israeli precision irrigation solution firm Netafim announced on Monday that it has secured a deal estimated at $85 million to provide advanced irrigation systems to 35,000 farmers in India.
The agreement involves the construction of irrigation systems for three large projects that cover 66 villages on 123,500 acres (50,000 hectares area) in the state of Karnataka in southwest India. The projects will be deployed over a period of two years and will include technical and agronomic support for five years.
Netafim will also train farmers to operate the advanced systems, the company said. A wide range of crops are planned for the area including onion, chili pepper, corn, peanuts, beans, sunflowers and other crops.
Netafim joined forces with the Indian Infrastructure company, MEIL (Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited) to execute these projects.
These projects are an extension of the successful Ramthal community irrigation project in the state of Karnataka which was completed in 2017. An additional four projects in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were secured by Netafim in 2018 and are now under implementation.
“Especially in these days of global crisis, this new mega-deal in India represents a vote of confidence in Netafim, its solutions and accomplishments,” stated President and CEO of Netafim Gaby Miodownik. “The uniqueness of these projects is in their community model, which along with local government involvement enables a huge number of farmers and villages to improve their livelihoods. The Indian government has always been extremely supportive of the agricultural sector, and now more than ever this support is important for securing the economic stability of local farmers and food security in the country.”
Founded in 1965, Netafim is a drip irrigation pioneer based in Israel. It became a subsidiary of Mexican chemicals company Mexichem in 2017 following an acquisition valued at $1.5 billion. Netafim develops and produces drippers, dripperlines, sprinklers, and micro-emitters for farmers around the world.
The scope of the regional irrigation projects won by Netafim to date involves 202 villages in India and over 97,000 farmers over 100,000 hectares (247,105 acres) area. The transition to precision irrigation is expected to double the agricultural output, improve its quality and save about 40 percent in water and fertilizer consumption.
Netafim intends to expand the community irrigation project model to other countries characterized by a large number of small farmers, Miodownik said.