Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies recently secured a new sales contract in the United Arab Emirates for its Heat Exchange Probes (HEP) cooling solution in what executive director and co-founder Boaz Wachtel calls a ‘Beachhead’ deal.

 The UAE is the beachhead for our expansion into the Gulf countries like Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” he said.

“The climate conditions in these countries are very difficult, it’s often above 45 degrees Celsius and in the UAE they want to grow a bunch of foodstuffs including coffee, which is usually grown in high elevation in Ethiopia and Kenya.

“EliteAgro approached us because our system can cool the roots of the coffee plants by putting a heat exchange probe in the pots, where we run cold water which affects the entire root zone area and lowers roots temperatures.”

This is particularly vital because the temperature of the root is more critical than the temperature of the canopy in keeping the plant alive and producing – which opens up opportunities for Roots (ASX:ROO) in other countries with similar climates.


Netafim deal could be in the works

Notably, the company also recently sold a ‘Super Mini’ RZTO system for a Netafirm pilot aiming to validate its efficacy at a blueberry farm in Southern Turkey – and is now a key supplier for the global giant.

“Netafim is the inventor of drip irrigation, it became a huge company and was sold to a Mexican glomerata for $1.6 billion, so it shows that you can build value in an agricultural company – but it takes time,” Wachtel said.

“This system will be used on blueberries, to chill the roots and see what the impact is on the yield and health of the plant and the growing cycle length etc.


“We’ve also become an approved supplier with Netafim and within a couple of months, we will know whether we’ll go into a major deal with them, or not.”


Two new patents filed

Roots is also making progress with its intellectual property portfolio, filing two patents in the US – one of which is a provisional patent around drip irrigation technology.

“Our patent relates to the fact that at times that you do not irrigate you remove the water, and run cold or hot air in the pipe which can influence the canopy and root zone area temperatures of the plant,” Wachtel said.

“In the summer, you cannot grow anything because it’s so hot and in winter it’s too cold, so, this technology would mean you wouldn’t have to buy heating or cooling equipment for greenhouses… and we think that could save a lot of time, energy, money and will be less damaging to the environment.”

Wachtel says the second patent relates to the unit with multiple temperature control functions: it heats and cool the roots, controls irrigation water temperatures as well as liquid fertilizers pumped through the drip irrigation system.

“This prevents the damage from too hot or cold irrigation water throughout the year, thus we can provide the optimal temperature for three different functions in the one machine,” he said.

“In the event the applications progress with the United States Patent and Trademark Office , the company plans to leverage opportunities for both direct sales and complementary solutions as part of strategic collaboration initiatives.”


This article was developed in collaboration with Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.