PepsiCo and N-Drip have announced a partnership to help farmers around the world adopt technology in water efficiency across 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) by 2025.
Around the world, a countless number of farmers make use of flood, or trench, irrigation to bring water to their crops. This technique is still deployed on 85 percent of all irrigated fields worldwide, roughly 600 million acres, even in water-scarce locations. However, alternatives to flood irrigation are too expensive for many farmers to use and prohibit these farmers from selling their low-margin crops at a profit.
A replacement for flood or trench irrigation, Israeli-headquartered N-Drip's high-efficiency irrigation system is powered by gravity and harnesses the water-saving benefits of high-pressure drip irrigation, but with low energy, operating and maintenance demands – making it more accessible to all types of farmers and nearly all types of crops.
According to Eran Pollak, chief executive officer with N-Drip, the partnership has the goal of removing barriers to access and introducing and implementing N-Drip to farmers around the world. "As PepsiCo sources crops from farms of all types and sizes, N-Drip's proprietary technology allows our partnership to make precise irrigation accessible to all types of farmers, from those with massive farms to those with one-acre plots."
As a global beverage and convenient foods company, PepsiCo sources over 25 crops across 60 countries and is an active leader in the scaling and adoption of regenerative farming practices under its pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) transformation. Leveraging its reach and network of farmers across its agricultural footprint, PepsiCo aims to scale N-Drip's technology to help improve farmer livelihoods with higher yields, reduced water consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. This effort will contribute to PepsiCo's pep+ Positive Agriculture goals of improving direct agricultural supply chain water use efficiency by 15 percent by 2025 (against a 2015 baseline) in areas of high-water-risk, spreading regenerative agriculture practices across seven million acres of farmland, and strengthening the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain.
To date, PepsiCo has implemented N-Drip's technology with farmers in India, Vietnam and the U.S., and claims improved crop yields, reduced fertilizer usage and 50 percent less water consumed compared to flood irrigation, according to Rob Meyers, VP, sustainable agriculture, PepsiCo.
Privately-held N-Drip has raised $40 million to date from a mix of strategic and financial investors in the U.S. and Israel. Currently doing business in 17 countries, N-Drip's three main business hubs are Australia, India, and the southwestern U.S.
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