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Since millennia, in areas of low rainfall, surface irrigation has been utilized. In 1959 the Israelian inventor Simcha Blass developed a patented very efficient plastic nozzle for dripping the irrigation water from plastic pipes over the crops cultivated soils. In occasion of a FAO project in Libya, this system was utilized for establishing a table grape plantation. In order to support each grape plant, instead of wood poles, plastic pipes of 5 cm diameter, 2.5 mt high were used, dipped into the soil some 50-60 cm, close to each plant. Out of 15 rows, 150 mt long, provided with the normal drip irrigation pipes, in 2 rows a technical modification of “drip irrigation” was used, in which the horizontal water pipe posed on the soil, with holes for dripping the water, was substituted with a normal plastic pipe, without holes, hanged on the plastic vertical poles. In this pipe, close to each grape plant, was made a small hole, in which was inserted a small plastic pipe (like the ones used for blood transfusions). The other side of these mini pipes were inserted into the big vertical plastic pipes used as a support to each plant vegetation, in order to convey the irrigation water deep into the soil. This system has been called “Vertical Subirrigation Technology”. In the summer of the third year of grape cultivation, the electric pump failed and, after a month, only the 2 rows with the modified system did not show any damage. This system was adopted in other FAO projects in the Near East, also for fertile-irrigation.
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