The world is facing food insecurity problem due to shortage of workforce and growing world population. Robotization of crop production will help to boost food production, through effective labour conservation. This study was carried out to optimize the performance of tomato fruits' robotic harvesters, through field practices (pre-harvest treatments).
Tomato (Cv. UC82B) was cultivated under four major field practices, which were: control, organic treatment, inorganic treatment using potassium nitrate (KNO 3), and combine treatment using the combination of compost manure and KNO 3. Tomato fruits were harvested at the pink maturity stage and were subjected to compression test, using the Universal Testing Machine, at three compression speeds of 15 mm/min, 20 mm/min and 25 mm/min. Results obtained from the study showed that, field practices and compression speed significantly (p ≤0.05) affected the failure parameters (failure force, failure energy and deformation) of the tomato fruits.
Regardless of the compression speed, the fruits produced with combined treatment had the highest failure parameters; while the control fruits developed the least failure parameters. Tomato fruit produced using the combined treatment developed failure force, failure energy and deformation of 87.60 N, 701.97 N.mm and 16.88 mm Original Research Article Idama and Uguru; JERR, 20(1): 67-75, 2021; Article no.JERR.61744 68 respectively.
In the terms of the compression speed, the study revealed that the ability of the fruits to absolved compression force declined significantly, as the compression speed increased from 15 mm/min to 25 mm/min, across the four treatments regimes. These results will be useful during the programming and application of automatic tomato fruits harvesting robots, to optimize their efficiency, hence improving food security condition.
Omokaro, Idama & Uguru, Hilary. (2021). Robotization of Tomato Fruits Production to Enhance Food Security. 20. 67-75. 10.9734/JERR/2021/v20i117248.