The Israel Innovation Authority has awarded a US$400,000 grant to Israeli precision irrigation company Viridix, to enhance the remote sensing and AI capabilities of its RooTense® solution, which the company claims can increase crop yields by 20% while reducing water and fertilizer usage up to 50%. The funding will also be used to scale production and distribution.
Viridix began with a very innovative sensor technology used to measure soil moisture. Through pairing with the latest software to understand the type of plant, age of the plant and soil type, Viridix says it can better respond to crop needs and apply the optimal amount of water.
The company’s soil moisture sensors measure the water available to the roots of crops, giving a measurement known as ‘Water Potential’, which it says is the most accurate soil moisture measurement in the market. Sensors can be planted at multiple depths, giving the farmer a full picture of what is going on in the soil. In addition, sensors require no calibration or maintenance. Built for variable rate irrigation, the sensors are ideal for orchards, vineyards and green houses.
Viridix says it further empowers farmers by taking uncertainty out of irrigation decisions. By combining accurate and timely water potential data with additional information such as weather, irrigation protocols and soil characteristics, Viridix simplifies and automates one of the most important activities in farming. Optimal irrigation helps farmers optimize productivity, reduce resource consumption and improve sustainability.
Targeted at 70% of the world’s freshwater that is used to irrigate agriculture, the company’s latest solution requires minimum care and is autonomous, with no initial programming needed for set up and the ability to self-adjust as required.
“This is an exciting time in the growth of Viridix and the support of the IIA for the 3rd time will help accelerate our plans,” said Tal Maor, CEO of Viridix. “The partnership with IIA is a strong indication of the Israel Innovation Authority’s commitment to the success of Viridix. Our ability to execute on global partnerships with some of the largest players in the irrigation industry will increase with this grant.”