Published On: Thu, Feb 4th, 2021

Israeli agri-tech startup Edete spread artificial pollination on the Australian almonds

Edete's technology replace nature’s missing honeybees. The system can help produce more food and meet the needs of the world’s growing population
Edete system at work

The disappearance of the honeybees, world’s greatest pollinators, is
already causing massive fear in the agriculture industry. Farmers are being
challenged with feeding an ever-growing population while beehives dwindle in numbers.

 About 75% of the world’s crops rely on natural pollination. Without an alternative solution, food security is at risk. Food prices are likely to climb, and certain foods might be hard to get. 

Israeli agri-tech startup Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture has developed an artificial pollinator system that combines a software-hardware.   

The system starts with mechanical collection of flowers, while separating the pollen – the male part of the flower – from other flower parts. The process provides flowers with very delicate and optimal conditions that maintain the pollen’s natural viability, and therefore almonds produced by Edete’s artificial pollination are 100% natural.

The company’s method enables maintenance of good viability rates of
pollen stored for over one year. The best genetically fit pollen is applied on
the target trees using robotic pollination system, which uses a combination of technologies to disperse an optimal dosage of pollen on the target flowers for effective pollination. The application units can work both during day or night and independent of climate and temperature.  

according to the company, artificial pollinators are working successfully as a supplement to bees and do not affect bees or other insects.

Edete can also be used to pollinate pistachios, apples, cherries, pears, plums, among others.

Edete successfully completed field trials in almond orchards in Israel. In August, when the almond trees begin to blossom, the company to begin commercial-scale field trials covering dozens of hectares in Victoria, Australia, following the signing of an agreement with one of the largest almond growers. The next step is 7,400 almond growers in California.

The market structure in Australia is similar to that in California, where less than 10% of the growers account for more than half of the acreage under cultivation.

The global almond market is estimated at over $7 billion annually. With growers spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on beehive services.

Founded in 2016, by CEO Eylam Ran, and Keren Mimran, who acts as Edete’s VP for Business Development and Marketing, Edete has raised around $6.2 million in pre-seed and seed funding, including $2.2 million from the Israel Innovation Authority. The company intends to raise additional funds in a Series A round during 2021, to support its scale-up plans and entry into the US market.

 

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