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Evofuel and Fantini s.r.l Announce Breakthrough in Mechanical Harvesting for Castor Bean

Mechanical harvesting is a major bottleneck in conversion of castor bean to a fully modernized commercial crop; Combination of Fantini s.r.l Harvester with Evofuel proprietary varieties has demonstrated in field trials significant improvement in yield loss

Rehovot, Israel & Medole, Italy– October 29, 2018 – Evofuel Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN), focused on securing the global demand for stable castor oil supply and Fantini s.r.l., a leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, announced today the successful development of a mechanical harvesting solution for castor bean plants.  The solution developed has shown a significant decrease in yield losses, from up to 50% with the current solutions to as low as 5% with the combination of the harvester and Evofuel proprietary castor varieties and growth protocols in two consecutive year field trials in Israel during 2017-2018.

The global castor oil and derivatives market is expected to reach USD 2.3 billion by 2024[1]. The oil and its derivatives are used in various industrial applications such as: lubricants, surface coatings, cosmetics & pharmaceuticals, plastics & resins and biodiesel. Most of the global castor supply is from India where castor is grown in traditional methods and the harvesting is done manually, creating an unstable supply of castor oil and leading to high price volatility in the market. An industrial mechanized harvesting solution is projected to convert the castor bean into a commercially viable crop which is expected to support stabilizing the supply and to meet the growing demand for castor oil.

The new mechanical harvester is being developed by a consortium of Evofuel and Fantini s.r.l, together with Castor Oil Argentina S.A., an Argentinian company created to introduce castor as an extensive crop in the country, and BioFields SAPI de CV, a Mexican company focused  on delivering innovative castor-based bio-products. In the coming months semi-commercial scale field trials are expected to take place with Castor Oil Argentina S.A. and BioFields SAPI de CV

The harvester will be commercialized by Fantini s.r.l to Evofuel’s global partners.  The combination of this new harvester and Evofuel’s proprietary castor varieties positions Evofuel with key competitive advantages as an integrated solution provider, seed-to-grain, while positioning Fantini s.r.l as a unique provider of next generation harvesting machinery for the growing castor market.

Assaf Dotan, CEO of Evofuel, stated: “We are happy to announce that together with Fantini s.r.l,   Castor Oil Argentina S.A., and BioFields SAPI de CV, we are on our way to provide a true revolution in the harvesting of castor bean. This breakthrough was made possible thanks to the successful collaboration of all parties and will allow us to address the global demand for stable castor oil supply.”

Nicola Bonacini, CEO of Fantini S.r.l. commented: “We are enthusiastic about the strong partnership established with Evofuel on this ambitious project. Dedicated to providing a unique solution to castor bean farmers, we have joined our extensive know-how together with Evofuel’s professional expertise. This partnership reflects Fantini’s s.r.l spirit, oriented towards innovation and new technical solutions, tailored to satisfy global customer’s needs. We are very proud of the good results that we have already achieved and we feel confident about the high-quality product and the excellent service we can provide to Evofuel’s customers worldwide.”

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About Evogene: 

Evogene (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for major life science markets through the use of a unique computational predictive biology (CPB) platform incorporating deep scientific understandings and advanced computational technologies. This platform is utilized by the Company to discover and develop innovative ag-chemical, ag-biological and ag-seed products (GM and non-GM), and by two subsidiaries; Evofuel, focused on castor seeds, and Biomica, focused on human microbiome therapeutics. Through its collaborations with world-leading agricultural companies such as BASF, Corteva, Bayer and ICL, Evogene has licensed genes, small molecules and microbes to partners under milestone and royalty bearing agreements. For more information, please visit


About Fantini S.r.l:

Fantini S.r.l. is a leading manufacturer and Distributor Company specialized in Agricultural Mechanization. Established in 1968, it is headquartered in Northern Italy with its products travelling worldwide. Operating through an international network of local leaders, the Company has successfully established affiliate partnerships in many countries with the ultimate goal of understanding what customers need and fulfilling their demands. The advanced technologies, applied to the range of products developed, such as corn and sunflower harvesters, respond to their user’s requests with effective solutions, providing them invaluable support. Fantini S.r.l. continues to be globally recognized as a leading harvester solution and is considered among the leading agricultural companies that make a difference in the results provided, maintaining productivity at a high level while reducing loss. For more information, please visit

About Castor Oil Argentina S.A.:

An Argentinean company created to develop castor crop as an alternative on marginal lands of the country. With the mission of producing castor oil in a sustainable manner, generating new business with a strong impact at a social and environmental level.

About BioFields SAPI de CV:

BioFields SAPI de CV focuses on delivering innovative castor-based bioproducts and is a subsidiary of Grupo Alego Corporation, an industrial group which focuses on clean energies, high-value oils, bio-lubricants and derivatives, while preserving the environment through the use of state of the art eco-friendly technologies.

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” or words of similar meaning. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, describe opinions about future events, 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 may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, many of which beyond Evogene’s control, including, without limitation, those risk factors contained in Evogene’s reports filed with the appropriate securities authority. Evogene disclaims 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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