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Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies widens European footprint with Balkan deal


Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) has expanded its European presence through a letter of intent (LOI) with established agriculture and water treatment technologies supplier Avital COO, to deploy the company’s proprietary root zone temperature optimisation (RZTO) and heat exchange probe technology in Serbia and other countries in the Balkans.

With the deal, Roots will have a broader presence in Europe encompassing the Balkans, Italy and Spain and with more markets earmarked.

Moving into more key markets

Roots executive chairman and chief executive officer Boaz Wachtel said: “This LOI is a very promising development for Roots and is an excellent opportunity to establish our technology in another major European market and build a strong commercial sales pipeline.

“We expect that our RZTO and stub technologies will be well received by blueberry growers in the Avital network and provides us with seamless entry into another large, new agricultural market with a strong partner.

“Demand continues to increase for our offering, particularly as food security is becoming an ever-increasing concern for countries the world over.

“The pandemic that has defined 2020 has created major disruptions to food supply chains and crop cultivation globally and this is going to be much more evident in 2021 as food shortages and increased prices become much more apparent.

“More countries are therefore looking to technology solutions to strengthen their domestic food cultivation and supply capabilities over the longer term and rely less on imports.

“Roots is therefore in the box seat to benefit here as we establish our presence in more key markets.”

Details of agreement

Under the LOI, Roots and Avital will progress a demonstration of the RZTO and heat exchange probe technology at one of Avital’s customer farms, a commercial grower of blueberries.

Both parties will progress the LOI to a binding agreement, whereby Avital becomes Roots’ preferred distributor for Serbia and select Balkan nations.

It hopes to begin the trial with Avital’s customer in the first quarter of 2021 or before.

As part of the initiative, 420 blueberry plants will be heated or cooled as needed, based on local agronomical protocol, matching the RZTO performance versus a separate control group.

Roots is confident that a successful trial will generate revenue-generating installation and service contracts in Serbia.

The country is a major producer and exporter of blueberries cultivating over 500 tonnes annually.

RZTO technology

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

Roots is a graduate company of the Office of the Israeli Chief Scientist Technological Incubator program

RZTO technology optimises plant physiology for increased growth, productivity and quality by optimising and stabilising the plant’s root zone temperature year-round.

Optimal root zone temperature is commonly known to be the most influential parameter in a plant’s physiology besides water.

Roots’ heat exchange probe is designed to be inserted into the tops of plant’s pots and grow bags to significantly simplify working procedures, reduce labour and allow for easier pot mobility.

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