Special Report: The Israeli Government will provide a 30 per cent subsidy to basil farmers who use Roots Sustainable’s Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology.

Agtech Roots (ASX:ROO) announced that the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had approved the subsidy following a successful pilot in winter, where the roots of basil, traditionally a summer plant, were heated using the RZTO tech.

The heated plants increased yield and average plant size by 65 and 35 per cent respectively.

The RZTO technology heats or cools the roots of a range of crops as needed in one system, mitigating against daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations. This enables significant energy and capital and operating expense cost savings, coupled with greater yield increase.

Interim results from a recent trial which attempted to facilitate the growth of cannabis in greenhouses  by cooling its roots showed plants grew 25 per cent larger.

The basil pilot was subject to lengthy and comprehensive analysis involving economists, agronomists and engineers who examined the 65 percent yield increase, ROI, energy savings and increased profit potential for farmers.

Dr Sharon Devir said the subsidy would insulate farmers against adverse weather conditions.

“Being a summer crop, basil needs high temperatures for normal development, making it prohibitive to grow in winter in many parts of the world,” he said.

“However, Roots’ RZTO technology has proved it can provide increased plant protection against cold and stabilise the root temperature during day and night more effectively and for less than 10 percent of the cost of traditional heating systems.

“By stabilising the root temperature, basil farmers are able to extend their growth periods, increase yield and gain premium prices for their crops.”

Dr. Devir also said Roots was looking at introducing the technology for other use cases in different jurisdictions. Roots recently granted a patent for irrigation by condensation technology in India .

The subsidy has been granted under the Precision Ag Program, a collaboration between the Israel Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance, which is investing $17.6 million in innovative agtech and machinery through until the end of 2019.


This special report is brought to you by Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies.

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