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Special Report: Listed AgTech innovator Roots Sustainable is expanding into the hydroponics space with the expected debut next nonth of its next-generation greenhouse technology.

The structure combines traditional hydroponic techniques with Roots’ temperature optimisation system and will be developed in conjunction with Teshuva Agricultural Projects, a leader in the greenhouse and hydroponic industry.

Plus, you can build it yourself.

Chief Dr Sharon Devir described the development as a ‘game-changer’ for the company.

“It allows us to tap into an existing, rapidly growing global advanced-hydroponics market. With this collaboration, we can now address a major problem nutrient film technique (NFT) farmers face in stabilising nutrient temperatures and maintaining them at an optimal range year-round,” he told the market.

Shares in the company (ASX:ROO) surged on the news – trading up 7 per cent at 37c.

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies executive chairman, Sharon Devir, and his co-founding partner Boaz Wachtel.
Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies executive chairman, Sharon Devir, and his co-founder Boaz Wachtel.

NFT farming is a type of hydroponic farming where water containing dissolved nutrients is used for crop growth and re-circulated past bare plant roots.

This development now means farmers can stabilise the temperature of those roots to allow for consistent growing conditions all year round, using Root’s patented Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) all within a self-assembled greenhouse.

This delivers multiple, proven advantages including: very high production yields, significantly lower operating costs, more efficient production facilities, major savings in water and fertilisers, longer equipment lifecycles and ultimately increased profitability.

The prevalence of the farming technique is increasing as global consumption of high-value and exotic crops is on the rise – the value of the high-end agricultural market expected to increase from $5.18 billion in 2017 to $11.23 billion by 2022.

“Hydroponic crops are generally high-value and every production refinement that can be made pays higher dividends to farmers,” Dr Devir said.

“The partnership strengthens our robust technical portfolio as we push toward delivering optimal growing environments, profitable farming techniques to meet shifting consumption trends, and address global food security challenges.”

The two parties have signed a letter of intent, and are set to unveil the project at one of the world’s leading agriculture exhibitions in Israel next month.