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  • 10 September 2019 23:28

Agriculture Drones and Robots Market Expand with High Growth

The global agricultural industry is currently undergoing a massive transformation, owing to the implementation of smart farming solutions such as agriculture drones and robots, that makes farming profitable by focusing on site-specific planning and variable rate application along with autonomous operations.

The proliferation of robotics and automation in agriculture is fundamentally driven by factors such as the exponentially rising demand for global food production, depleting resources, shrinking arable lands, and increasing shortage of manual labor in agriculture.

As agriculture quickly becomes an exciting high-technology industry, new professionals, companies, and investing bodies are rapidly being drawn in. The development in smart farming technologies has led to not only advancements in production capabilities of farmers but also to the introduction of advanced technology phenomenon in the industry i.e., agricultural drones and robots.

The introduction of agricultural drones and robots is also expected to resolve another looming concern over the farming industry i.e., the shifting structure of agricultural workforce. This change in the global aging demographic has eventually triggered the adoption of automation in farming practices. Agricultural drone and robot manufacturers have seen a positive surge in their sales due to this profound change in the farming industry.

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Governments of several countries have realized the need and advantages of smart farming technologies, and thus their initiatives to promote these advanced farming techniques are expected to further drive the growth of the agricultural drones and robots market. The growth of this market is driven by certain other factors such as economic need of precision agriculture and rising labor shortage.

High growth in the global agriculture drones and robots market is expected to be driven by the need to apply site-specific farming, variable rate application of raw materials and resources as per requirements, and declining agricultural labor across the world. Rise in the usage of agricultural robots is growing owing to the increasing applications in agriculture areas, including precision crop farming, livestock monitoring and management, indoor farming, aquaculture, forestry, and orchards, among others.

Agricultural robots are also expected to reduce the ecological footprint of daily farming. A large share of market has been driven due to the initiatives, policies, and support shown by governments in countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, and China. In emerging countries, the growth is expected to be driven by rising awareness among governments of different countries about the need to elevate farm produce while taking care of the environment. Furthermore, rising concerns over global food security and sustainability have led to extensive investments by the governments across the world.

The agriculture robots market encompasses a wide array of robot types such as milking robots, harvesting robots, picking, robots, weeding robots, autonomous robot tractors, seeding robots, and pruning robots. These robot types are utilized in different agriculture areas including precision crop farming, livestock monitoring and management, indoor farming, aquaculture, forestry, and orchards, among others. Technology maturation and widespread adoption are the major reasons behind the reported growth of milking robots. Picking robots amongst the robot types have gained the maximum growth due to the increase indoor farms. A large number of picking robots have now only been developed to pick high value fruits and vegetables. As the market matures, the use of picking and harvesting robots is also expected to increase for staple crops.

To promote the growth of agricultural robots, governments and private players have introduced agricultural robots as service. It allows farmers to utilize advanced solutions for selective purposes and enables to pay per use. Traditional mindset with reluctance to change among consumers is one of the major reasons behind the reported growth of Agriculture Robot-as-a-Product business model. However, the Agriculture Robot-as-a-Service business model is expected to create a massive disruption in the agricultural robots market.

Although the trend of indoor farming is catching up, total global produce through indoor farming is nowhere close to the amount of agricultural produce generated through outdoor farming. Thus, the requirement for robots lies heavily for outdoor farming. Prominent robots introduced for indoor farming include pick-and-place robots and picking robots, whereas the prominent robots introduced for outdoor farming include weeding robots and autonomous robot tractors.

Looming concern of the lack of manual labor for agriculture is expected to propagate research and development of agricultural robots in the region, leading to further growth of the Europe agricultural robots market during the forecast period. North America generated the second highest revenue in 2017. Large market share of the region has been attributed to the rising need for efficient farming equipment in the large farmlands of the North America to generate profitable crop production.

The competitive landscape for the agriculture drones and robots market demonstrates an inclination toward companies adopting strategies such as product launch and development and partnerships, collaborations, and joint ventures. The major established players in the market are focusing on product launches and developments to introduce new technologies or developing further on the existing product portfolio. Deere and Co., Trimble Inc., AGCO Corporation, Parrot SA, GEA Farm Technologies, Lely S.a.r.l., Afimilk Ltd., PrecisionHawk., AeroVironment Inc., DeepField Robotics, EcoRobotix, Abundant Robotics, Naio Technologies, and Boumatic Robotics, are some of the prominent players in the agriculture drones and robots market. The market is highly fragmented with the presence of large enterprises and a large number of small- to medium-sized companies that compete with each other.

Moreover, extensive R&D activities and appropriate regulatory environments are also a prerequisite for the sustained growth of this market. Various government and private research institutes and favorable trade policies are putting in substantial efforts to identify the benefits of these agricultural drone and robot solutions for augmenting global food production. The increase in adoption of sophisticated smart farming techniques is necessary to bridge the demand and supply gap along with attaining sustainability in the production.

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