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Tal-Ya Featured by ‘The Guardian’


Tal-Ya was featured in Erica Gies’ article on technologies which support the effort to grow more food with less water.  According to Gies “With nearly 3 billion people already facing water scarcity, farmers look to both tech and tradition for ways to grow more food with less of an increasingly strained resource.”


Check out the full article here – and below is the excerpt on Tal-Ya:

In Israel, where water scarcity has been a way of life for decades, Tal-Ya (“God’s dew” in Hebrew) manufactures trays that capture dew and funnel it to plants, often tree crops. The 28- by 22-inch polypropylene trays trap air underneath themselves as well, insulating plants from extreme temperatures and catching moisture evaporating from the earth to create a perpetually moist soil pocket around the roots. They also block weeds that would otherwise compete with crops for water.

Each tray costs $3 to $5 apiece.

Mickey Chesla, Tal-Ya’s vice president of marketing and sales, said the trays can reduce water use by up to 90% although 50% is more typical. They can also reduce fertilizer use by 30% because the trays direct the nutrient straight to the plant’s roots.

While introducing more plastic into the environment might not seem like a great idea, Tal-Ya states that its trays last for up to 10 years and are 100% recyclable. Since beginning commercial production in 2013, farmers in Israel, the United States, China, Chile, Georgia, Sri Lanka, and Australia have adopted them according to the company’s web site.

This past spring Tal-Ya was a runner-up in the Imagine H20 food and agriculture competition. Its tray system “improves agricultural yields without increasing resource allocation”, said Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O’s chief operating officer. “These solutions that enable farmers to produce more with less are proving crucial to surviving the California drought”, he said.

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Tal-Ya Named Finalist in Imagine H2O Global Competition

Mickey Chesla

Tal-Ya was named a finalist in the prestigious Imagine H2O Global Competition for start-up companies active in the water arena, under the theme of water and agriculture. Tal-Ya is now one of 12 companies competing for the top honor, which includes over $200,000 in cash and in-kind service and admittance to Imagine H2O Accelerator’s program. Finalists included start-ups from the U.S., Canada and Australia, and Tal-Ya from Israel.

Tal-Ya manufactures trays specially designed to concentrate water and fertilizer directly to the root of each plant or tree, creating a “personal greenhouse” for each plant. The trays enable farmers to prevent weed growth and reduce water use by 50% and fertilizer use by 30%, while accelerating growth dramatically. The farmer is able to improve his ROI and obtain more from each acre.

Mickey Chesla

Mickey Chesla

“We’re thrilled to have been selected as a finalist by Imagine H2O,” said Tal-Ya VP Marketing & Sales Mickey Chesla. “Tal-Ya is now in a very significant stage of the company’s life, and we’re building positive momentum. We are now building a network of partners and distributors in our target markets, and we’re also in discussion with a number of potential strategic partners. We’re confident that 2014 will be the year in which Tal-Ya will make the transition from product development to significant market penetration.”

ImagineAccording to Imagine H2O’s press release, previous winners and finalists collectively represent 1 in every 10 dollars of early-stage financing in the water sector. This year’s winners and runners-up will be honored at Imagine H2O’s Entrepreneurship Showcase and World Water Day celebration on March 18th.

A 2012 U.N. World Water Assessment Program survey indicates that agriculture currently accounts for more than 70% of global potable water usage. As many of the leading agricultural regions in the U.S. continue to be gripped by drought, the need for innovative water resource management in food production becomes increasingly dire. Imagine H2O’s proven path-to-market opportunity advances emerging businesses that offer promising solutions to this and other looming water challenges.

“Entrepreneurs are responding to a growing demand for water innovations that contribute to global food security,” said Imagine H2O Chief Operating Officer Scott Bryan. “This field is rapidly evolving and Imagine H2O is excited to be working with some of the most promising technology startups addressing the food and agriculture sector’s water needs.”

The program’s major financial supporters include Wells Fargo (Headline Sponsor), Grundfos, Cooley LLP, the California Water Foundation, and the Stiefel Family Foundation.

As a finalist, Tal-Ya will also receive admittance to the Imagine H2O Accelerator, which includes access to beta customers and pilot partners. The inaugural Beta Partnership Program, developed in partnership with the BlueTechValley, features leading commercial growers and food processors that together represent over $30 billion in annual revenue.

Tal-Ya Founder, Avi Tamir

Tal-Ya Founder, Avi Tamir

Imagine H2O’s judging panel, which includes leading industry experts from companies such as Google Ventures, Ecolab, and True North Venture Partners, based its selection of the finalists on their commercial viability, customer value proposition, go-to market strategy, and financial plan.

For the full Imagine H2O Press release on Business Week click here.

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