Robots can help the agricultural sector in various ways. First of all, they are good at difficult, complex, heavy or monotonous work. In addition, they help to increase sustainability, for example by using the necessary tools and raw materials in a more precise and targeted manner. The role of the agricultural entrepreneur will change as a result of this robotization, concludes the strategic agenda 'European Robotics in agri-food Production: Opportunities and Challenges', in which the Business Unit Greenhouse Horticulture and Flower Bulbs of Wageningen University & Research participated.
The strategic agenda was published last year and is a collaboration between industry organization EU Robotics and the European project agROBOfood. WUR is involved in both. The agenda was made for the European stakeholders: the EU is working on a major digitization agenda, within which the agricultural sector will have its own place. The strategic agenda can therefore be the basis for new European policy and calls and can lead to more unanimity within the sector. The reactions of the EU and the agricultural sector to the report have been very positive.
A small team, including some WUR researchers, worked for about a year on 'European Robotics in agri-food Production: Opportunities and Challenge'. To create it, discussions were held with the professional field, such as specialized companies. The analyses showed that robotization can change the work of farmers and horticulturists, as, they will be supported in their decisions by robots and artificial intelligence. In addition, robots offer a solution to the labor issues, which is becoming increasingly urgent in greenhouse horticulture, among others.
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