FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Stephan Titze, Eitan Neubauer, Israeli Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai and David Zeng, Managing Director for China at Netafim.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Drip irrigation and other water-saving technology will be getting a major boost in China, after Israeli drip irrigation leader Netafim opened its first production plant there on May 9. Netafim announced the inauguration of the plant in Yinchuan, the capital of the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The company has invested over NIS 20 million in the plant, which has begun producing various types and sizes of drip lines and drippers for the Chinese market. In addition, the site includes a training center.
The company said in a statement that the area was chosen due to its low rainfall levels that has led to an increasing interest by local farmers to find ways of saving water. Chinese government policies that “favor agricultural and water-saving irrigation technologies” were also another incentive.
Netafim CEO Ran Maidan hailed the plant as a “testimony to Netafim’s commitment to investing in China,” and said the country has “significant growth potential." A statement also said the Yinchuan was “the company’s initial base for investments in the region and in northwest China.”
A burgeoning wine industry in the Ningxia region was another incentive for Netafim to build its first Chinese plant there, since the company produces specialized irrigation and fertilizing systems. Netafim has already collaborated with American winery Domain Chandon in setting up a vineyard in the region.
Netafim Asia-Pacific head and China chairman Stephan Titze said that the plant will be a “solid foundation” for future activities in the country as well. However, a spokesman for the company told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday that there are no plans to build more plants at the moment.
The process of bringing Netafim to China first began in 2014, when Chinese officials met with the company, both at their offices in China and in Israel at Kibbutz Hazerim. The 51-year-old company has 28 subsidiaries, 17 manufacturing plants and 4,300 employees worldwide.