IDTechEx: Market for agricultural robots to grow quickly in coming decade

A agricultural robot of the type "Field Swarm Unit 2", which can weed and cultivate soil, is being demonstrated in Germany. - Photo: ANP/Sebastian Willnow
A agricultural robot of the type "Field Swarm Unit 2", which can weed and cultivate soil, is being demonstrated in Germany. - Photo: ANP/Sebastian Willnow

High labor costs, rising fuel costs, and the demand for higher food production almost provide a perfect opportunity for people to adopt agricultural robots, according to IDTechEx

In its latest report, market research company IDTechEx considers whether the Russia-Ukraine war will impact global food supply shortages, and how agricultural robots can play a part.

Russia-Ukraine war

The Russia-Ukraine war has put pressure on farmers globally to produce more crops to make up for a gap in supply left by the two countries. As prices of wheat, fuel, and fertilizer rise, the total costs for farmers have been increasing.

One efficiency improvement is to adopt agricultural robots. According to IDTechEx at this stage, the adoption rate of agricultural robots remains relatively low due to several issues, including lack of technical robustness, high upfront costs, complicated technologies, and many others.

Drones and weeding robots

However, Yulin Wang, Technology Analyst and author of the report notes that although there are multiple associated issues, some applications of agricultural robots have been commercialized thanks to their relatively simple technologies and short payback time. Examples include milking robots, agricultural drones, and automated weeding robots.

IDTechEx believe that the agricultural robot industry is expected to grow quickly thanks to the high efficiencies and low operating costs. These advantages can be the ideal solutions to the previously mentioned challenges in the agricultural industry.

Autonomous tractors and carriers

Amongst all of the applications, IDTechEx believe that autonomous tractors and implement carriers will be one of the major drivers due to the increasing efforts in the autonomous driving sector.

Although the agricultural industry is relatively conservative compared to other industries, IDTechEx do see a huge potential in agricultural robots and automation in agriculture. “Unlike many years ago, when technologies were not ready and labor was cheap, the current situations (increasing technical robustness, high labor costs, rising fuel costs, and the demand for higher food production) almost provide a perfect opportunity for people to adopt agricultural robots.”

The analysts believe that in the upcoming decade, the agricultural robot industry will go through a rapid increase.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming



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