Roots to do a paid trial for Italian AgTech producer

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Oct 8, 2019, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) has signed a 12-month Letter of Intent (LOI) with leading Italian ag-tech producer and nursery Cairo & Doutcher to install a commercial demonstration utilising Roots’ patented RZTO technology, while also exploring distribution opportunities.

Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO) optimises plant physiology for increased growth, productivity and quality by stabilising the plant’s root zone temperature.

Leveraging the principle of Ground Source Heat Exchange (GSHE), Roots installs a closed-loop system of pipes.

Under the LOI, Roots will install its hybrid ground source heat exchange system combined with a heat pump to improve crop quality and increase yields for herbs and flowers at Cairo & Doutcher’s growing facilities in Southern Italy.

Cairo & Doutcher is an early adopter of agricultural technology, utilising innovative cultivation techniques to improve the quality of its pomegranate, mango, avocado, herb and flower crops.

The company’s commercial nursery facility also supplies its seedlings, graftings and cutting varieties to wholesale growers.

This development follows last week’s receipt of an important order for RZTO technology from an Israeli cannabis producer, news that triggered a 17% share price rally.

Read: Roots receives sale order from Israeli cannabis producer

Roots will generate revenues for the scope of works that come under the letter of intent, but at this stage the financial terms are commercially confidential.

Potential exclusive multi-year distribution agreement

If the demonstration is successful, the two parties will look to collaborate on an exclusive multi-year distribution agreement in Italy.

Dr Sharon Devir, chief executive and co-founder said, "This paid commercial demonstration with a respected market leader is an important first step towards expanding our global footprint into the Italian market.

‘’Demonstrating the effectiveness of our root zone technology in local growing conditions is an essential part of the ag-tech sales process.

“Roots’ RZTO technology addresses universal crop production and climate management challenges faced by growers across the world.

‘’Italy is one of the largest agricultural producers in the European Union with the sector accounting for around two percent of Italy’s GDP.

“As most of Italy’s producers are family run farms of around 10 hectares, our climate management technology is perfect for enabling these growers to increase yields and crop quality, increase the number of growing cycles and improve overall profitability year-round.

“Unlike traditional air heating and cooling systems which require high energy consumption, our RZTO technology cost-effectively maintains root temperatures at optimal ranges and is ideal for helping growers manage Italy’s varying climate systems.’’

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