“Today, as throughout modern history, irrigation is crucial to the global food supply: the 18 percent of the world’s farmland that’s irrigated yields 40 percent of the world’s food. Yet less than 4 percent of the world’s irrigated land is equipped with micro-irrigation systems. Clearly, the irrigation revolution has a long way to go.
To date, farmers have adopted micro-irrigation mainly for fruits, vegetables and other high-value crops that can provide a good return on the investment. California is the king of drip in the United States, in large part because it is the nation’s fruit and vegetable bowl. It accounts for 62 percent of the nation’s area under micro-irrigation; Florida and Texas come in a distant second and third.
Netafim, the global market leader in drip irrigation, has expanded drip’s use on cotton in Australia, Egypt, Israel, the United States and elsewhere. In the Philippines the installation of a subsurface drip system on a sugar cane farm resulted in a 90% increase in yield compared with a conventional (center-pivot) sprinkler, and a 70% reduction in water use– resulting in a dramatic increase in water productivity. Netafim reports that the cane’s sucrose content increased by 5%, an added bonus.”
Read more: National Geographic