Roots Agricultural Technologies Ltd (ASX: ROO) has come up with a successful Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO) cooling project, tested on Peruvian Lily. The floriculture production sector which globally worth around US$55 billion each year, will benefit from the root cooling technology of plants. The initial test results showed that the growth and cultivation of flowers with cooled roots started almost eight weeks earlier than the control plants with non-cooled roots. This extended growing season also allowed the farmers to achieve a premium price of more than double the standard rate for out of season flowers.
The company is into development and commercialization of technologies which addresses critical problems faced by agriculture in recent times. It includes a shortage of water for irrigation and plant climate management which is done through the optimization of root zone temperature.
The company has developed proprietary know-how and patents to derive several benefits. This includes optimization of performance, lower installation costs, and reduce energy consumption to a minimum level. These not only benefit the business, but it also brings maximum benefits to the farmers. The company was established in 2012. The company uses two key technologies which are ‘Root Zone Temperature Optimization’ and ‘Irrigation by Condensation.’
Mr. Yarden Mualem, one of the farmers, stated that due to high greenhouse temperatures during the warmer months, he had to limit flower harvesting to only 25 weeks a year previously. However, this early blooming helped him to achieve for a 20 percent increase in production. This is equivalent to 150,000 flowers per hectare.
During the pilot phase of the project and initial testing, Roots used its RZTO cooling system to keep the flower roots relatively stable at an optimal range, in-spite of high warmer ambient air temperatures in the greenhouse.
The CEO of the company, Dr. Sharon Devir said, that the floriculture sector is a very diverse one and includes the production of floral crops such as cut flowers and cut foliage, flower bulbs, potted flowering as well as foliage plants and bedding plants. As mentioned, the annual global floral production of these high-value crops is estimated to be around US$55 billion, and it is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent due to increased use in social, political, sport, and entertainment events. The company envisages many opportunities with floriculture crops as crop yield optimization, and growing cycle management is extremely critical since most cut flowers do not travel well and have limited lifespans.
The RZTO was successful to have cooled the root systems of the Peruvian Lily seedlings, provided increased protection from the Israeli heatwave it experienced. It also stabilized the temperature range between night and day. This helped the farmers to boost growth and gain higher yield quantities significantly. This would allow the possibility of additional productive growth periods, and benefit the farmers as a result of higher, premium prices for longer periods for a crop that would normally be out of season.
Let us now quickly look at how Roots Agricultural Technologies Ltd is performing today and how much it had given in the past few months. At the time of writing, the stock price of the company is trading in red with the stock price of A$0.098 per share which implies the downfall of A$0.002 per share or 2.0%. The market capitalization of the company stood at circa $6.4 million. The stock, however, lost 73.68% on a YTD basis and is down almost 70.15% over a span of last six months.