News / Science & Technology

Irrigation Pioneer Wins World Food Prize

Irrigation Pioneer Wins World Food Prizei
|| 0:00:00
X
Steve Baragona
October 16, 2012 6:24 PM
A pioneer who made arid lands bloom is the recipient of this year's prestigious World Food Prize. Daniel Hillel developed drip irrigation techniques that squeeze the most crop out of a drop of water, making farming possible in places where water is scarce. VOA's Steve Baragona reports.

Irrigation Pioneer Wins World Food Prize

A pioneer who made arid lands bloom is the recipient of this year's prestigious World Food Prize. Daniel Hillel developed drip irrigation techniques that squeeze the most crop out of a drop of water, making farming possible in places where water is scarce.

Hillel’s orchards near his home in Israel are innovation in action.

Each tree row is fed by plastic tubes which drip water at the base of the tree.

Irrigating drop by drop - called drip irrigation - has transformed agriculture by dramatically reducing the amount of water needed.

Farmers now rely on it in water-scarce regions from Spanish vineyards, to African onion fields, to America’s fruit and salad bowl.

“We in California grow about 50 percent of the fruits and vegetables of the continental United States," says University of California at Davis hydrologist Jan Hopmans. "And the reason that is possible is because of, indeed, these drip and micro-irrigation techniques.”

Hillel got his start in dryland farming as a pioneer in Israel’s Negev Desert in the 1950s.

"The issue was efficient use of water," he says, "because land is available. It’s extensive. Water is limited.”

These desert farmers did not have the luxury of running irrigation water through channels to their crops, the way farmers have since ancient times.

So Hillel and others gave plants just what they needed, just where they needed it.

“The idea was to apply the water little by little, the way you spoon-feed a baby,” Hillel says.

It worked so well that Hillel was soon traveling the world, showing others how to do it.

Experts say drip irrigation is an innovation whose importance is growing, as climate change and rising population strain water supplies in many parts of the world.
    
“This is where water use, water availability, water-use efficiency and climate change and crop production all converge," Hillel says. "And this has been really the essence of my career.”

A career whose legacy can be measured drop by drop.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ju from: S. Korea
October 17, 2012 5:29 AM
This will be very effective method on the area where the water is not enogh, and it does not waste wafer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid