Strong returns and higher wholesale food prices make the North American greenhouse market an ideal target for ROOTS agricultural tech but the company is also working to make it affordable to farmers globally.

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) is endeavouring to expand its foothold in the North American market, considered one of the most sophisticated greenhouse and temperature-controlled agriculture industries globally.

ROO CEO Boaz Wachtel said North America is working to improve its energy use through innovative food production technologies.

“North America is a sophisticated, homogeneous farming market that seeks new technologies to reduce energy use,” he said.

“It’s less price sensitive to pay for new techs than other markets due to good returns from greenhouses due to high average yield per square meter and higher wholesale food prices.” 

Adapting farming to meet challenges

The ag-tech company was established in 2012 and graduated in 2016 from the technology incubator program administered by the Israel Innovation Authority, formerly known as the Israel Office of the Chief Scientist.

ROO is focused on developing, producing, and commercialising precision agriculture technologies to address severe weather conditions, improve crop yields, and provide water for irrigation in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner.

The company’s Root Zone Temperature Optimisation Technology (RZTO) system can heat, or cool crop roots as needed in one system, mitigating against temperature fluctuations, which is critical in regions where daily and seasonal temperatures can vary significantly.

“We are the only company in the world with tech to cool roots and that is becoming an urgent plant saving tech as heatwaves grow in frequency and ferocity,” Wachtel said.

The company’s Heat Exchange Probe (HEP) technology is designed to heat or cool plant substrates in pots, grow bags and soil.

The innovative technology is compatible with its RZTO system, enabling a streamlined, cost-effective installation and energy saving operation.

Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) is a standalone, closed-loop, solar-operated  system that irrigates crops by condensing humidity in the air on the external surface of pipes containing cold running water.

Canadian patents helping to grow ROO tech

The Canadian Patent office recently granted ROO a design patent for its Heat Exchange probe technology. The tech will be designated in Canada as Adapter for Pipe Joints.

The patent approval represents an important development for the IP protection of ROO’s tech in the Canadian agricultural sector, where greenhouse operations play a major role due to the country’s climate.

The Canadian greenhouse agricultural market consists of more than 2,000 vegetable/mushroom producers and cannabis greenhouse operations, with a total greenhouse area of more than 33.2 million km2.

Presence on multiple continents

Apart from Canada ROO has a presence in multiple continents as it works with farmers to tackle the challenges of food production amid climate change.

The company is cleverly seeking to commercialise its IBC units in various markets by reducing costs through using local parts.

“We managed to reduce prices of IBC units with the purchase of local parts to make it affordable to farmers at all income levels,” Wachtel said.

“Secondly the successful international exposure of our root zone heating and cooling tech is gaining momentum.”

This article was developed in collaboration with Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies, 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.