To Conserve Water for Agriculture, a Solution from the Desert
By Naty Barak (Netafim), interviewed by Nina Kruschwitz
When it comes to agriculture, sustainability can mean many different things: Providing access to markets for smaller farmers; reducing pollution from pesticides or chemical fertilizers; limiting deforestation and habitat loss; managing soil to avoid nutrient depletion or erosion; or ensuring efficient use of water resources. In arid landscapes such as Israel’s Negev region, farmers have to be particularly conscientious about water use. But as concerns about the future of agriculture in changing economic and climatic conditions rise, farmers the world over are beginning to explore ways to stretch what may become an increasingly limited resource. In a conversation with MIT SMR’s Nina Kruschwitz, Netafim’s chief sustainability officer, Naty Barak, explains how his company’s origins in arid-zone agriculture in 1965 became a springboard to a wider market for agricultural producers to maximize water efficiency — and how the company’s partnerships with NGOs seeks to bring the technology to small farmers in the developing world.
read full article at http://sloanreview.mit.edu/