Roots – Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd. is developing and commercializing disruptive, modular, cutting-edge technologies to address critical problems being faced by agriculture today, including plant climate management and the shortage of water for irrigation.
Roots has developed proprietary know-how and patents to optimize performance, lower installation costs, and reduce energy consumption to a minimumall in order to bring maximum benefit to farmers.
The Company’s two core technologies are:
- Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO), which significantly increases yield, improves quality, saves energy and mitigates extreme heat and cold stress
- Irrigation By Condensation (IBC), which provides water for irrigation from moisture in the air and soil
1Root Zone Temperature Optimization (RZTO)
Root temperatures influence all parameters of the plant’s physiology and an optimum Root Zone Temperature (RZT) range is essential for a plant’s robust growth, productivity and quality.
The RZTO system is based on the phenomenon that at a depth of a few meters soil maintains a relatively stable temperature that approximates the mean annual air temperature and is unaffected by daily or seasonal air temperature fluctuations. The underground temperature is always colder during the summer and hotter during the winter than the top soil temperature. Leveraging the principle of Ground Source Heat Exchange (GSHE), ROOTS installs a closed-loop system of pipes, where the lower part is installed at the stable temperature depth, and the upper part in the target crop’s root zone. Water flowing through the lower pipes is charged by the soil’s stable temperature. The heated (or cooled) water is pumped through the pipes installed in the root zone, where the heat (or cold) is discharged.
The result: the system is able to heat the root zone during the winter and cool it during the summer (by up to 10° Celsius). In this way the RZT is maintained at a relatively stable and favorable range throughout the year. The energy consumption of the GSHE is for the water circulation pump only.
In cases where it is not feasible to dig in order to install the GSHE system, a proprietary, efficient heat pump is used instead. The heat pumps have higher energy consumption compared with GSHE, but they can be programmed to provide a very accurate root zone temperature range as needed.
It is also possible to install a hybrid system that incorporates both GSHE and a heat pump. In this configuration the heat pump is used only during extreme heat or cold spells and thus the overall energy consumption of the hybrid system is relatively small.
2Irrigation by Condensation (R&D phase)
ROOTS Ltd.’s IBC is a standalone, closed-loop, solar-operated system to irrigate crops by condensing water from moisture/humidity contained in the air/soil on the external surface of pipes. The system’s water tank is filled once. Thereafter the water is continually cooled to below the dew point and the chilled water circulated in pipes placed on the ground surface and/or in the soil at the plant’s average root depth. The humidity that condenses on the pipes is used to irrigate the crops with pure, chilled water.
Roots Ltd. is managed by an experienced, multidisciplinary team:
CEO & Co-Founder
Dr. Sharon Devir
(PhD Agricultural Engineering)
Dr. Sharon Devir
Dr Devir was the former CEO of NGT, a technology incubator which sold a company Flourinex to Colgate for USD $100 million. He was also the Former CSO of AFIMILK dairy management systems and he has lectured at The Hebrew University, Israel on behalf of the Agriculture Faculty. He previously co-founded Sailcrop, an abiotic stress seed treatment technology as well as Rimonim, an Agri-Tech fund. Dr Devir’s achievements led to being awarded the “Man of the Year” award by Israeli TV Channel 2 and the Daily “Yediot Acharonot” newspaper for his Unique Social Contribution. He holds a Ph.D in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from Waginingen University, the Netherlands, a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Science from the Technion Institute of Technology, Israel.
Non-Executive Director & Co-Founder
(inventor, MA and water expert)
Mr Wachtel is the inventor of irrigation by condensation (NASA TechBrief's Magazine- Technologies of the Month) and root zone heating and cooling- ROOTS IL's core technologies. He has published 25 publications focussing on water and the environment and he’s a frequent lecturer on Ag-Tech, Middle East water issues and sustainability. He is a former Assistant Army attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC and has lectured at the UN conflict resolution conference. Mr Wachtel co-founded two ASX listed medical cannabis companies; MMJ Phytotech and Creso Pharma. He holds a Masters in Management and Marketing from the University of Maryland.
(senior agronomist at Netafim)
Mr. Vered is a highly experienced agronomist, currently serving as Roots' Chief Agronomist. Prior to his current position, Mr. Hanin served as the Head of the Agricultural Research Department at Netafim-Magal, where he developed new irrigation methods in vegetables, irrigation and fertilization methods in drip irrigated cotton as well as subsurface drip irrigation methods, working both in Israel and with the company's overseas subsidiaries. Previously, Mr. Vered was engaged in introducing innovative irrigation methods in the US and Australia and new technologies and equipment for growing cotton in Texas, while conducting high-yielding trials for growing corn for seeds in Bulgaria and the Ukraine. Over the years, Mr. Vered has developed numerous methods for growing corn, potatoes and rice in diverse countries worldwide, while assisting and consulting a variety of companies on agricultural technologies and practices.
Mr. Hanin serves as Roots' Chief Operating Officer, and as such, is in charge of international sales, post-sales, agricultural R&D and agricultural applications. During the past 15 years, Mr. Hanin has acquired vast experience in managing international large-scale multidisciplinary projects and working in developing countries. Prior to his current position at Roots, Mr. Hanin worked as Marketing & Sales Manager at Actolime, focusing, among others, on the sales of natural lime construction materials; served as Project Manager in the Agricultural-Industrial Department of LR Group, an international project company; Chief Operations Manager at Nutrinia, a company developing dietary supplements; and a biologist and technician at SeaOr Marine Enterprises, a company engaged in aquaculture, fish, snails, shrimp and seaweed advanced biological systems. Mr. Hanin holds a Bachelor's and a Master's in Biology.
(PhD Plant Physiology, former head of greenhouse division at Netafim)