A system that sources irrigation solely from humidity in the air and energy from the sun or wind is one of two innovations being unveiled by Israeli-based Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies this week.
The Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) system, said to be a world-first, will be showcased at Agri-Tech Israel 2018, taking place in Tel Aviv from 8-10 May.
Designed to enable the production of food crops in remote semi-arid areas with no access to grid electricity or irrigated water, Roots claims the IBC system has successfully demonstrated its ability to sustain the full growth cycle of high protein crops.
“The world needs this new type of thinking to address environmental challenges brought on by ecosystem degradation and pollution, reduced access to water, more severe weather conditions and higher energy prices,” explained Dr Sharon Devir, Roots CEO and co-founder.
Roots will also showcase its hydroponic nutrient-temperature controlled greenhouse at the event. Developed in conjunction with TAP, the modular greenhouse utilises Roots’ patented RZTO technology and allows farmers to assemble the product themselves.
Using hydroponic nutrient film techniques (NFT), water containing dissolved nutrients is used in the greenhouse to promote crop growth. The aim of this process is to deliver higher yields at significantly lower operating costs.
“The research development site for the TAP hydroponic nutrient-temperature controlled greenhouse has already received high praise from farmers testing the installation over the last four weeks,” Roots said in a release. “Growing cycles of the leafy greens tested were shortened by 20 per cent.”
Roots – which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange last December – has established pilot and demo systems in Spain, Australia and Israel, with sales orders already placed in Israel and China.
“We signed distribution agreements in China with Dagan, conditional on US$19m in sales on the basis of the agreement continuing for five years, and Australia with Adam Water Solutions Technology,” Devir explained.
“And we’ve continued our proof of concept research on young apricot trees in Australia, mature avocado trees in Israel, basil in both countries, as well as a host of other high-value crops in Spain.”