Roots secures Irrigation by Condensation patent, eyes Indian market

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Sep 10, 2018, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd (ASX:ROO) has been granted a divisional patent for its impactful and disruptive Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) technology in India.

Roots is developing and commercialising disruptive, modular, cutting-edge technologies to address critical problems being faced by agriculture today, including plant climate management and the shortage of water for irrigation.

The company’s Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) system allows a farmer to produce food crops using irrigation sourced only from humidity in the air.

Roots to assist in addressing India water crisis

India presents a large market opportunity for Roots’ IBC technology with the country currently suffering from the worst water crisis in its history.

With its ability to assist in growing entire food crops using irrigation sourced only from humidity in the air, even in remote semi-arid areas, IBC is the perfect solution.

Roots' IBC technology can assist in growing entire food crops.

Roots’ solar operated and electric driven IBC systems have successfully completed proofs of concept for crops as diverse as wheat, beans, tomatoes spinach and lettuce from seedlings at the company’s research facility in Israel.

Overall this is an early stage play and as such any investment decision should be made with caution and professional financial advice should be sought.

Boaz Wachtel, inventor of the technology and a Roots director said, “The granting of a major patent in India is an important step as we move towards commercialisation of our Irrigation by Condensation technology.

Our standalone system offers a solution for Indian farmers, where erratic rainfall and water scarcity has affected food production.

More than 75% of India’s fresh water is currently used for agriculture at a time when around 600 million people are facing a severe water shortage.”

Humanitarian impact could increase demand

Given the additional problems associated with shortages of water for human consumption, there could be support for the introduction of IBC from government or humanitarian organisations.

Wachtel said, “Our Irrigation by Condensation technology could help create or dramatically increase crop production for animal and human consumption in areas that often experience water scarcity.

It could provide food security and income to many farmers, not just in India but globally, and help prevent hunger, poverty and migration due to lack of irrigation water and access to food.”

To capitalise on the patent and address the urgent need in India, Roots is developing a range of additional solar-operated and electric versions of its IBC systems tailored specifically for small holder units of up to a quarter acre as well as mid-size systems for larger plots.

This news comes on the back of another important development towards the end of August when the company released interim results of a proof of concept for its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology.

The results indicated a more than 25% vegetative increase and enlarged stem diameters on cooled root zone cannabis plants in contrast to control crops in its world-first proof-of-concept cooling medicinal cannabis roots.

Current cannaboid prices in the California medicinal cannabis market are US$2 to US$3 a gram. The Canndoc control crops typically produced 600 grams of cannaboids per tree each growing cycle, equating to US$1200 to US$1800.

This potentially offers an additional revenue stream, and with the company targeting multiple markets with a variety of technologies upcoming news flow could be a share price catalyst.

The proof of concept news resulted in the company’s shares increasing from 25 cents to a high of 33 cents before closing at 31.5 cents, for a 25% gain.

The past performance of this product is not and should not be taken as an indication of future performance. Caution should be exercised in assessing past performance. This product, like all other financial products, is subject to market forces and unpredictable events that may adversely affect future performance.

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