Irrigation: China Enlists Israel’s Help In Improving Crop Production, Fertilizer Use

Kingenta Ecological Engineering Group Co., Ltd. has announced the launch today of a Kingenta-led agricultural partnership between Israel and China at a ceremony attended by government officials, agricultural experts and corporate executives from both countries.

This partnership is centered on a set of technologies that provide integrated control and regulation of water and fertilizer and consists of five medium- or long-term interrelated projects that will affect the future of agricultural development. The projects include constructing 10 Sino-Israeli demonstration farms exploring modern agriculture, establishing 100 agricultural service centers, sending 1,000 Chinese scholars and experts on fact-finding visits to Israel, training and supporting 10,000 model agricultural households, and cultivating 100,000 leaders in modern farming.

The integrated control of water and fertilizer is a strategic choice by China for modern agricultural development. China produces 26% of the world’s farm produce that feeds 20% of the world’s population with only 9% of the world’s farmland and 6% of its fresh water. Water shortage is one of the most severe problems facing China.

In addition, China is the world’s largest fertilizer user, consuming 56 million tons annually, yet the efficiency of fertilizer use is 20% lower than that of developed countries. An integrated control system of water and fertilizer allows farmers to dissolve fertilizers in water beforehand and then convey the fertilizers to the roots of the crops evenly and precisely through irrigation. This can help farmers save 150 cubic meters of water per acre and cut fertilizer use by 20% to 30%.

With the application of water-fertilizer integration technologies, it is possible to improve water and fertilizer use efficiency and thus increase yields by 20% to 50%, improve drought resistance, and ultimately raise the domestic agricultural ecological safety level. Water-fertilizer integration technologies can also help promote the standardization, automation, up-scaling and systematic intensification of future agricultural development.

Israel, being a desert country severely lacking in farmland and fresh water resources, has had experts working on water-fertilizer integration for decades and the result has been development of a successful technology that has brought the country significant strategic dividends. The Israelis have used the technology to create oases in the middle of deserts and turn their country into a global leader in farming technology.

Agricultural development in China needs to deal with both the shortage of fresh water resources — a similar challenge that Israel faced decades ago — and wasteful use of fertilizers, and with a reduction in soil fertility — problems resulting from inappropriate use of fertilizers. 


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