Wide Open Agriculture Ltd (ASX: WOA) declared to the market on 2 April 2019, that the maiden crop of industrial hemp has been planted at its shade house at Arthur River, situated in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. This would be the first crop to be grown under protected cropping conditions in the West Australian region.
WOA is an agriculture and food company. It is into the regeneration of ecosystems and revitalisation of communities at Wheatbelt, West Australia. The company produces premium vegetables and has a food brand called Food for Reasons™. WOA purchases land and in partnership with regenerative farmers aids in the restoration of the ecosystem. It makes sure that productivity continues for a long-term duration.
The company was listed on ASX on 6 July 2018 following its $5 million oversubscribed IPO.
WOA’s Food for Reasons™ food brand is developing food products with main ingredients sourced from West Australia’s regenerative farmers. The food brand concentrates on the healthy snacking and is seeking to reduce the value chain among West Australian farmers and customers.
WOA’s Growing Program will trial three industrial hemp varieties at its fully-automated shade house to determine growth rates in winter conditions in the Wheatbelt weather.
Dr Ben Cole, MD, WOA commented that the program is a thrilling opportunity for the company; the reason being, shade house would enable WOA to produce industrial hemp in an extremely controlled environment. The shade house would also help in removing key climate risks, resulting in enabling the testing to go on across the year.
He further said that trials taking place in the winter season, would allow the company to utilize regenerative growing practices for industrial hemp. The company has an objective to provide customers with regeneratively produced hemp products that have been cultivated in healthy soil.
The Growing Program would also measure soil moisture and fertiliser regimes. It will evaluate 2 innovative approaches to boost seed yields. The main indicators would be plant growth rates and seed yield. The industrial hemp generates a high-protein seed which contains omega-3. Omega-3 can be utilized in food, non-dairy milk and production of oil.
Regenerative Agriculture practices include farming and grazing. Out of a few of its other benefits, the practice reverses climate alteration, by applying the technique of rebuilding soil organic matter, and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. The outcome could be seen in carbon drawdown and enhancement of the water cycle.
In the recently released Interim Financial Report for the half year ending 31 December 2019, the company recorded loss of $614,127 for 1H FY19 as compared to $612,006 in PCP. The company’s balance sheet reported $5.07 million Total Assets and $1.02 million Total Liabilities.
The stock of the company last traded at a price A$0.180 on 1 April 2019. The company has a market capitalization of around A$12.7 million, with approximately 70.58 million shares outstanding. The stock has fared quite well in the past few months. It has generated a yield of 20% in the last six months, while its YTD stands at 24.14%. Its 52-weeks high was noted at A$0.210, and its EPS stands at -0.009 AUD.
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