NEW DELHI, 17 March 2022: PepsiCo India and N-Drip, manufacturer of an innovative gravity-powered micro-irrigation system, have announced a partnership, as a lead-up to World Water Day 2022, to help farmers in India adopt game-changing technology in water efficiency.
The technology has already been introduced in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan with an aim to improve water efficiency levels across thousands of hectares in the country by 2025. This is part of a global partnership between PepsiCo and N-Drip aimed at increasing water efficiency across 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) around the world by 2025.
Around the world, a countless number of farmers make use of flood, or trench, irrigation to bring water to their crops, which floods the field at regular intervals, losing up to 70 percent of the water used. This technique is still deployed on 85 percent of all irrigated fields worldwide, roughly 600 million acres, even in water-scarce locations. However, alternatives to flood irrigation are too expensive for many farmers to use and prohibit these farmers from selling their low-margin crops at a profit.
A replacement for flood or trench irrigation, Israeli-headquartered N-Drip’s high-efficiency irrigation system is powered by gravity and harnesses the water-saving benefits of high-pressure drip irrigation, but with low energy, operating and maintenance demands—making it more accessible to all types of farmers and nearly all types of crops.
Farmers using N-Drip routinely achieve significant water savings, see larger crop yields, and reduce the need for expensive fertilizers. In addition, by converting from flood irrigation to N-Drip’s drip irrigation system, carbon (CO2) emissions are reduced by as much as 83 percent and methane emissions by as much as 78 percent.
Commenting on the development, Eran Pollak, Chief Executive Officer, N-Drip said, “We’re thrilled to partner with PepsiCo with the goal of removing barriers to access, introducing, and implementing N-Drip technology to farmers in India. As PepsiCo sources crops from farms of all types and sizes, N-Drip’s proprietary technology allows our partnership to make precise irrigation accessible to all types of farmers, from those with massive farms to those with one-acre plots.”
He further added, “For the past two years, we implemented the N-Drip system in various fields across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan. By learning from the experience and practices of local farmers, we were able to modify and localize our solution, and create a perfect fit for the Indian market.”
Speaking about this development, Pratap Bose, Agro Director, Supply Chain, PepsiCo India, said, “Being an agri centric company at heart, PepsiCo India over the last 30+ years has been working towards increasing efficiency across its agri supply chain to reduce water usage by providing alternates to flood irrigation practices. The collaboration with N-Drip is another step in that direction. We are excited to partner with them as they are committed to solving the problem of water shortage by providing a robust alternative to flood irrigation. The initial response to the pilot project has been quite encouraging. We are already seeing improved crop yields, reduced fertilizer usage, and an average reduction of 39 percent water consumption compared to flood irrigation in states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.”
Driven with the mission of driving sustainable accelerated growth, this initiative by PepsiCo is poised to create a strong positive impact that goes beyond the company’s own supply chain in India. This new innovative technology not only applies to potato cultivation but also to other crops such as vegetables or maize.
As a global beverage and convenient foods company, PepsiCo is an active leader in the scaling and adoption of regenerative farming practices under its winning with pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) transformation. Leveraging its reach and network of farmers across its agricultural footprint, PepsiCo aims to scale N-Drip's technology to help improve farmer livelihoods with higher yields, reduced water consumption, and reduced CO2 emissions.
As part of the global partnership, this effort will contribute to PepsiCo’s pep+ Positive Agriculture goals of improving direct agricultural supply chain water use efficiency by 15 percent by 2025 (against a 2015 baseline) in areas of high-water-risk, spreading regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres of farmland, and strengthening the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain.
The partnership was sourced by PepsiCo Labs, PepsiCo’s technology venturing arm, which works to identify and embed breakthrough technology start-ups into PepsiCo’s operations to help solve complex, real-world problems and meet business goals at a global scale.
N-Drip is privately held. The company has raised $40 million to date from a mix of strategic and financial investors in the U.S. and Israel.