Roots delivers world first renewables-powered condensation irrigation system

By Meagan Evans. Published at May 3, 2018, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) has unveiled the world’s first solar or wind-operated Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) system that works ‘off the grid’.

Roots’ IBC system is the first stand-alone Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) system powered by solar or wind energy capable of growing and sustaining entire growth cycles of food, independent of the electricity grid or a normal water supply.

It was specifically designed to enable small and medium scale farmers to grow food crops irrigated only from humidity in the air, even in remote semi-arid areas suffering water scarcity and quality issues with no access to grid electricity or irrigated water.

Today’s announcement follows the successful proof of concept conducted late last year with electric power, which demonstrated the technical and agronomical ability to sustain the full growth cycle of several crops.

The ‘Irrigation by condensation off-grid’ installation is designed initially for growing high protein crops including beans and alfalfa. It will be showcased at the Agri-Tech Israel 2018 International Exhibition and Conference — one of the world's leading agriculture exhibitions from 8-10 May.

Many delegates to the exhibition have expressed interest in viewing the IBC system as well as the company’s root zone heating and cooling technology, its Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO) technology.

RZTO works to heat and cool the roots of crops such as vegetables, herbs and flowers and maintain relatively stable and favourable temperature range throughout the year, improving plant yields. In mid-April the company announced that it had has installed an advanced, hydroponic, nutrient temperature-controlled greenhouse based on its RTZO technology. This greenhouse will also be unveiled next week at Agri-Tech Israel 2018.

It should be noted, however, that this is an early stage tech company and success is no guarantee. Investors should seek professional financial advice before making an investment.

Boaz Wachtel, the inventor of the IBC technology and the co-founder of Roots said, “Roots’ successful installation of the world’s first solar or wind-powered IBC system demonstrates a viable decentralised solution for many of the 500 million smallholder farmers who currently struggle with water for crop production.

“Our patented IBC system has the ability to play a tangible role in benefiting many of the two billion people across the world who depend on these smallholder farms for their livelihoods, by providing a more sustainable living for farmers, families and the communities in which they operate. This is particularly important in areas where rainfall is scarce. The IBC system is also designated for use in advanced agricultural countries to irrigate plantations, covered crops in greenhouses and anywhere where water scarcity is the limiting production factor.”

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