Machinery

Background

Demand for agricultural robots to increase sharply

The demand for agricultural robots will see an increase of 24.1% until 2024, according to a recent business and commerce study by Transparency Market Research.

While the population worldwide is ever growing, the availability of arable land is limited as a number of emerging economies are focused on urbanisation, states the Transparency Market Research Agriculture Robots Market report.

According to the report, “These factors have raised a case for extracting maximum yield out of available agricultural landscape and have given birth to the market for agriculture robots, used for weed controlling, cloud seeding, planting seeds, soil analysis, and environmental monitoring.”

Technology becomes more affordable

The researchers say that as the awareness regarding the benefits offered by agriculture robots spreads and the technology becomes more affordable for cost-effective parts of the world, the demand in the global agriculture robots will multiply at an impressive CAGR of 24.1% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2024.

The analysts of the report have evaluated that the opportunities in the agriculture robots market, worldwide, translated into a revenue of US$ 1.01 Bn in 2016 and have estimated it to swell up to US$ 5.7 Bn by the end of 2024.

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Dutch arable farmer Leo Steenpoorte guides his Oz440 to a plot of kale. The little cart is a self-propelled robot that acts like a workhorse.- Photo: Joost Stallen
Dutch arable farmer Leo Steenpoorte guides his Oz440 to a plot of kale. The little cart is a self-propelled robot that acts like a workhorse.- Photo: Joost Stallen

Key factors

Apart from increasing strain on the global food supply as a result of increasing population, some of the other key factors augmenting the demand in the global agriculture robots market according to the report are: prospects of substantial cost savings by the food producers in a long term and government support to adopt modern agriculture techniques.

Unmanned aerial vehicles

In addition to that, recent new advents such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones that are specifically designed for agricultural farms and welcoming nature of food producers in developed countries regarding new technologies are also expected to reflect positively on the global agriculture robots market in the near future.

Substantial capital investment

On the other hand, the requirement of substantial capital investment before production stage is achieved from agrobots, strong lack of awareness in several emerging economies, and the absence of standardised safety regulations for the usage of these devices are obstructing the market from attaining its true potential.

In addition to that, the commercialisation of agricultural robots is a time-consuming process and the players operating in this market will have to overcome it to gain maximum profits, according to the researchers.

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The TerraSentia robot from EarthSense is designed to survey crops for phenotyping to help gather data for variety breeding programmes. - Photo: EarthSense
The TerraSentia robot from EarthSense is designed to survey crops for phenotyping to help gather data for variety breeding programmes. - Photo: EarthSense

Regional players are dominating

The global agriculture robots market makes for a scenario wherein regional players are dominating within the countries they have a presence in. For example, Clearpath Robotics, Harvest Automation, Inc., and PrecisionHawk, Inc. are 3 companies who were ahead of the curve in the region of North America in 2015, whereas SenseFly SA and Naio Technologies held the upper hand in Europe.

Over in the region of Asia Pacific, Shibuya Seiki has been identified as the leader the same year, 2015.

New players

Owing to the sheer profitability of this market and a radical growth rate, a number of new players are expected to make a foray in the near future and eat into the shares of the dominant players. For the key players to maintain their stronghold, the analysts of the TMR report have suggested development of cutting-edge technologies to meet diverse requirements.

Regions

In 2015, North America accounted for the maximum demand as a region in the global agriculture robots market, although vastly populated Asia Pacific is expected to turn into a highly lucrative region towards the end of the forecast period. China and Japan are 2 countries that are at the forefront of growing demand for agriculture robots from the region.

Also read: Robots the main workforce on farms in the near future

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