Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Indian unit of Netafim Irrigation Inc., a smart-drip and micro-irrigation specialist for farmers, won a 3.81 billion-rupee ($62 million) water project contract in the southern state of Karnataka.
The company will build an automated water pipeline network to more efficiently drip-irrigate about 29,000 acres (11,800 hectares) of land in the Bagalkot area of Karnataka, its largest in India, Netafim Irrigation India Pvt. said.
The contract auctioned by state-owned Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. will help 6,000 farmers through a simultaneous release of water so growers even at the end of the network get the same amount of water as those closer to the supply source. Netafim said it will build the project with partner Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd.
“This is our largest project in India,” Avinash Thakur, Netafim’s head of marketing, said today by phone from Vadodara. Netafim, present in seven Indian states, is an Israeli firm that started in the Negev desert in 1965.
The privately owned global seller of smart-drip and water-saving products originated in a kibbutz when members teamed with an engineer who discovered that a slow and balanced supply of water improved plant growth.
The Ramthal-Marol drip-irrigation project is India’s biggest such project. Only 32 percent of all farmland in the world’s second-most populous nation is irrigated, according to World Bank data.
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