Israeli drip and micro-irrigation solutions rapidly spread worldwide. The newest models are self-cleaning and maintain uniform flow rate regardless of water quality and pressure.Just one recent example of how this method has impacted food supply in foreign countries is Tipa, literally “Drop,” Tipa is a simple drip irrigation system that uses gravity when there is no water supply or water pressure coming to rural areas.
Israeli-designed GrainPro Cocoons provide a surprisingly simple and cheap way for African and Asian farmers to keep their grain market-fresh.The huge bags, invented by international food technology consultant Prof. Shlomo Navarro, keep both water and air out. They’re used all over the developed world, including Africa and the Far East, and even in countries that have no diplomatic ties to Israel, such as Pakistan.
On Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, a company called Bio-Bee breeds beneficial insects and mites for biological pest control and bumblebees for natural pollination in greenhouses and open fields. Subsidiary Bio-Fly sells sterile Mediterranean fruit flies to control this major pest in fruit trees.In Israel, Bio-Bee products have enabled sweet-pepper farmers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 75 percent.
It took nearly 30 years of research, but Hebrew University’s Prof. David Levy developed strains of potatoes that thrive in hot, dry climates, and can be irrigated by saltwater.Potatoes are one of the top sources of nutrition in the world, but they never grew well in hot, desert regions like the Middle East. Now farmers in these regions can grow potatoes as a cash crop.
Tal-Ya Water Technologies developed reusable plastic trays to collect dew from the air, reducing the water needed by crops or trees by up to 50 percent. The square serrated trays, made from non-PET recycled and recyclable plastic with UV filters and a limestone additive, surround each plant or tree. With overnight temperature change, dew forms on both surfaces of the Tal-Ya tray, which funnels the dew and condensation straight to the roots. If it rains, the trays heighten the effect of each mm of water 27 times over.
Two years ago, Hebrew University’s tech-transfer company teamed with Makhteshim Agan, a world leader in crop protection products, to develop and commercialize slow-release herbicides and a targeted insecticide that doesn’t harm beneficial insects. The total worldwide herbicide market is valued at more than $15 billion, of which approximately a quarter is dedicated to soil-applied herbicides and other pesticides.