Trellised vines snake their way up to a literal glass ceiling inside one of several greenhouses, each constructed differently and yet all tricked out with the same state-of-the-art technology.
This little agricultural park is right in the center of Netafim’s research and development site in Kibbutz Magal, just under an hour’s drive north of Tel Aviv, and is a prime example of what technological advances in modern agriculture have made possible even in the midst of winter. The company, known for pioneering drip irrigation and a method called precision irrigation, is now a multinational corporation worth billions of dollars and majority-owned by Mexican conglomerate Mexichem.
However, Netafim has humble beginnings, starting with the invention of the first drip irrigation system by Simcha Blass in 1959, a resident of Kibbutz Hatzerim, the entity that patented the product. Drip irrigation delivers water, fertilizers, and crop protection including biologicals directly to the roots of the crops, enabling farmers to apply these products in a more targeted way using Netafim’s technology.