Around the world, a countless number of farmers make use of flood, or trench, irrigation to bring water to their crops, which floods the field at regular intervals, losing up to 70 percent of the water used. 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. Farmers using N-Drip routinely achieve significant water savings, see larger crop yields, and reduce the need for expensive fertilizers. In addition, by converting from flood irrigation to N-Drip’s drip irrigation system, carbon (CO2) emissions can be reduced by as much as 83 percent and methane emissions by as much as 78 percenti.
“We’re thrilled to partner with PepsiCo with the goal of removing barriers to access, introducing and implementing N-Drip to farmers around the world,” said Eran Pollak, Chief Executive Officer, N-Drip. “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% by 2025 (against a 2015 baseline) in areas of high-water-risk, spreading regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres of farmland, and strengthening the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain.
“To date, we’ve implemented N-Drip’s technology with farmers in India, Vietnam, and the U.S., and saw improved crop yields, reduced fertilizer usage, and 50% less water consumed compared to flood irrigation,” said Rob Meyers, VP, Sustainable Agriculture, PepsiCo. “We’re thrilled to grow our partnership further by scaling N-Drip’s technology to make an even bigger impact across our agricultural footprint.”
The partnership was sourced by PepsiCo Labs, PepsiCo’s technology venturing arm, which works to identify and embed breakthrough technology start-ups into PepsiCo’s operations to help solve complex, real-world problems and meet business goals at a global scale.
N-Drip is privately held. The company has raised $40 million to date from a mix of strategic and financial investors in the U.S. and Israel.