Lior Yafe
Economic Counselor
Embassy of Israel in Mexico
/
Expert Contributor

Israel a Climate Tech Player Innovating for a Better Planet

By Lior Yafe | Mon, 07/04/2022 - 09:00

Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to humanity and the planet. Although agriculture in Israel contributes less than 3 percent of the total national greenhouse gas emissions, it is very sensitive to climate change and its varied implications on the agricultural ecosystem. Risks include change in the composition and layout of crops, increase in water and energy consumption for irrigation, manifestation of new pests and exacerbation of existing pests.

The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture set up a change fund in 2017 to forecast climate trends by 2050 and help the Israeli agriculture industry maintain its edge as smart, precise and highly resilient in the face of climate change. Israel’s climate tech industry has since burgeoned and consists of 212 climate-smart agriculture companies, of which 130 (20 percent) are startups. Of these startups, 69, or 53 percent, are precision agriculture companies of which 42 (60 percent) were established from 2016 onward and seven (10 percent) between 2019 and 2020. Collectively, they have raised US$489 million, 51 percent of the total funding for climate-smart agriculture startups.

This begs the questions, why precision agriculture and why Israel?

Israel is ranked first in the world in precision agriculture. The historical innovation of Israeli water-tech has facilitated the development of Israel’s strength in precision agriculture. Israel’s pre-existing strength in ICT, data mining and software, together with expertise in the fields of drones and satellites, enable the adaptation of existing technologies into innovative agricultural solutions, such a soil mapping, smart irrigation and fertigation systems and satellites for precision agriculture. Most importantly precision agriculture increases agricultural productivity while optimizing farm management and the efficient use of water, pesticides, nutrients and other inputs. This, in turn, reduces emissions, increases soil health and decreases expansion of agricultural areas and changes in land use.

The following cutting-edge precision agriculture companies are recognized globally as contributing to the fight against climate change.

Solidrip Ground-breaking drip irrigation technology is changing the way plants are irrigated in the urban space. Their autonomous irrigation system is designed to support urban agriculture and gardening on any scale, indoors and outdoors. The system provides the optimal amount of water for each plant and automatically adapts to any environmental change.

Netafim is the world’s largest drip irrigation company and the global leader in precision irrigation systems. It offers holistic irrigation systems to growers of all shapes and sizes, thereby empowering these growers to grow more with less. The company’s offer includes a wide range of leading irrigation and complementary solutions across all crops, conditions and terrains. These include dripper and drip lines, micro and macro sprinklers, valves, filters, water meters, crop management technology and ever-developing digital farming solutions.

treetoscope A novel engineering algorithm provides real-time measurement of a plant’s water consumption. It is the first and only commercial device that senses the internal water flow of a plant and directly measures its water consumption and real-time irrigation needs without extrapolations based on indirect sensing technologies.

Viridix empowers farmers by taking the uncertainty out of irrigation decisions. By combining accurate and timely data regarding water potential with additional information such as weather, irrigation protocols and soil characteristics, Viridix simplifies and automates one of the most important activities in farming. Optimal irrigation helps farmers optimize productivity, reduce resource consumption and improve sustainability.

N-drip is the first and only micro-irrigation solution powered by gravity. It is a disruptive technology that provides higher yields, while saving water without adding energy or requiring water filtration. N-drip is the most efficient alternative to flood irrigation and will have a significant influence on global farming.

Rootsat focuses on sustainable agricultural technology, developing and commercializing disruptive, modular cutting-edge technologies to address critical problems faced by agriculture today, including plant management via root zone temperature optimization and the shortage of water for irrigation.

Photo by:   Lior Yafe