Growing global demand for castor oil due to strong market demand for its derivatives
Rehovot, Israel – November 15, 2022 – Casterra Ag Ltd. (“Casterra”), the castor seeds technology developer whose mission is to provide the most advanced castor bean seed varieties and comprehensive ag-service solutions to castor cultivators and manufacturers, and a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (Nasdaq: EVGN, TASE: EVGN) (“Evogene”), announced today that it signed a long-term royalty agreement with Titan Castor Farms Limited (“Titan”), a Zambian cultivator, manufacturer and distributor of castor oil.
Castor oil is becoming an increasingly important commodity with a broad range of uses. The global market for Castor oil and its derivatives is valued at $1.2 billion and growing. Applications include oil for lubricants, industrial human health such as cosmetics, and environmentally-friendly plastic polymers, given their high durability and elasticity.
Furthermore, the global demand for biofuel is increasing. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels, such as those derived from castor beans, has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers. Castor beans are an effective source for this mission with high oil content and extensive environmentally friendly cultivation practices.
Titan is expected to establish a growing and manufacturing castor oil facility in Zambia in the coming months. Under the framework of the agreement, Casterra will provide Titan with its advanced castor seeds for cultivation, as well as processing equipment, know-how, and technical support as needed, at cost. This will enable Titan with full end-to-end capabilities from growth to manufacturing castor oil. Titan will provide Casterra royalties on sales of its castor oil products, which are expected throughout Zambia and the surrounding South-Eastern Africa region, starting in 2023.
This agreement represents a major advancement for Casterra in leveraging its technology into the emerging global castor oil market in the African continent. It also represents an important key step for Titan in cementing its position as the dominant castor oil producer in Zambia and the South Eastern Africa region.
Jeff Mzwimbi, Titan’s Managing Director, commented, “We are very excited to launch this new agreement with Casterra. It significantly advances our capabilities in the manufacture of castor oil and related products, and Casterra’s technology firmly positions us as the most advanced castor cultivator in the region. Zambia is becoming a leading agricultural exporter in the region, and the export of castor oil is an important economic priority for this emerging economy. We look forward to realizing significant growth potential over the years ahead.”
Eyal Ronen, Casterra’s General Manager, commented, “This is a very important development for Casterra. It leverages our significant know-how and IP in Castor and allows us to realize sales from our seeds, technology, and expertise into global markets, with an initial foothold in the growing African market. We see many strong synergies between Casterra and Titan in this new venture and look forward to working closely to expand sales in this growing market throughout the region.”
About Casterra Ag Ltd.:
Casterra is engaged in developing and commercializing high-yielding castor bean seeds as a cost-competitive, sustainable, second-generation feedstock for the growing biofuel market. It has built its castor genetic assets based on a broad collection of over 300 castor lines from over 40 different geographic and climatic regions. As part of its development process, Casterra applies advanced breeding methods utilizing cutting-edge plant genomics capabilities and agro-technique expertise to enable efficient and sustainable large-scale production of the castor bean.
For additional information, please visit Casterra’s website at: https://casterra.co/
About Evogene Ltd.:
Evogene (Nasdaq: EVGN, TASE: EVGN) is a computational biology company aiming to revolutionize the development of life-science-based products by utilizing cutting-edge technologies to increase the probability of success while reducing development time and cost. Evogene established three unique technological engines – MicroBoost AI, ChemPass AI, and GeneRator AI – leveraging Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and incorporating deep multidisciplinary understanding in life sciences. Each technological engine is focused on the discovery and development of products based on one of the following core components: microbes (MicroBoost AI), small molecules (ChemPass AI), and genetic elements (GeneRator AI). Evogene uses its technological engines to develop products through subsidiaries and strategic partners. Evogene’s main subsidiaries utilize the technological engines to develop human microbiome-based therapeutics by Biomica Ltd., medical cannabis products by Canonic Ltd., ag-chemicals by Ag Plenus Ltd., and ag-biologicals by Lavie Bio Ltd. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com.
Forward Looking Statements:
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” relating to future events. These statements may be identified by words such as “may”, “could”, “expects”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “believes”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “demonstrates”, or words of similar meaning. For example, Evogene and Casterra are using forward-looking statements in this press release when they discuss the results of the cooperation between Casterra and Titan, including potential royalties, the estimated size of the Castor oil and its derivatives market and Casterra’s penetration to the African market. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, and involve certain risks and uncertainties which are difficult to predict and are not guarantees of future performance. Therefore, actual future results, performance or achievements of Evogene and its subsidiaries may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond the control of Evogene and its subsidiaries, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene’s reports filed with applicable securities authorities. Evogene and its subsidiaries disclaim any obligation or commitment to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or developments or changes in expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions.
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