99 Irrigation Pioneer Wins World Food Prize

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A researcher who helped make crops grow in ___________ land areas received the World Food Prize last week. Daniel Hillel was recognized for his work in developing what is called «micro-irrigation» or ___________ irrigation.» It has made farming possible in places where there is little rainfall or water.

Daniel Hillel’s farm near his home in Israel shows his ideas at work.

DANIEL HILLEL: «Each tree row is fed by these plastic ___________ that drip water at the base of the tree.»

Watering plants drop by drop has changed agriculture by reducing the ___________ of water needed to grow crops.

Jan Hopmans is a ___________ at the University of California at Davis. He studies water-related issues in society. He says farmers now depend on drip irrigation in many areas, including ___________ in Spain, onion fields in Africa, and even farms in the United States.

JAN HOPMANS: «We in California grow about ___________ percent of the fruits and vegetables of the continental United States. And the reason that is possible is because of, indeed, these drip and micro-irrigation techniques.»

The World Food Prize Foundation says Daniel Hillel was born in California at the beginning of the Great Depression. After his father died, his mother moved the family to Palestine, where her parents lived. The area eventually became part of the state of Israel.

Daniel Hillel got his ___________ in dryland farming as a settler in Israel’s Negev Desert in the nineteen fifties.

DANIEL HILLEL: «The issue was efficient use of water. Because land is available. It’s ___________. Water is limited.»

___________ farmers were not able to push water through irrigation canals to their crops, the way farmers have since ancient times. So Mr. Hillel and others gave plants just what they needed, just where they needed it.

DANIEL HILLEL: «The idea was to apply the water little by little, the way you ___________ a baby.»

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

Experts say drip irrigation is an idea ___________ importance is growing, as climate change and rising population stretch water supplies in many parts of the world.

DANIEL HILLEL: «This is where water use, water availability, water-use efficiency and climate change and crop production all ___________. And this has been really the essence of my career.»

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