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The Rising Demand for Agriculture Drones and Robots

According to the recently published market intelligence report by BIS Research, titled Global Agriculture Drones and Robots Market: Analysis and Forecast, 2018-2028, the market generated a revenue of $2.52 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.76%, during the forecast period from 2018 to 2028. By 2028, the agriculture drones and robots market is projected to reach $23.06 billion.

Presently, several factors and trends are influencing the growth of the agriculture drones and robots market. These factors can be segregated into market drivers, restraints, and opportunities.

Market Drivers
The first factor influencing the demand for agricultural robots and drones is the increasing requirement for global food production. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently projected that by 2050 the world population of 9.1 billion people would require double the food produced by 2005. It is a clear indication that demand for food is rising exponentially; however, it is very difficult to increase the arable land area for more than 5% of that available at present.  

The second factor increasing the growth of the market is the economic need for precision agriculture. Over the last couple of years, owing to the poor availability of funds in low-income countries and poor price structures for farm produce, more and more people are quitting farming as a profession. In the U.S., the net income of a farmer in 2018 was estimated to have fallen by almost half since 2013 as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The rising shortage of labor is the third major factor driving the growth of robots and drones. With a generation change, the world is gradually witnessing a significant shortage of working labor in the agriculture industry owing to multiple reasons, including increasing average age of farmers and increasing cost of labor, among others. However, a decline in interest amongst the newer generations to engage in farming as a profession is considered the most prominent reason. According to the World Bank, share of total employment in agriculture in the world has declined from 43.25% in 1991 to 25.96% in 2018.

Market Restraints
There are certain factors that are impeding the growth of the market. Increasing inflation in the price of agricultural produce is the first challenge. The inflation of prices in the agriculture market directly affects the income of farmers, which is flexible in nature. This income depends on the amount of farm produce being sold. An increase in the price of agricultural inputs for the farmer leads to an overall increase in the price of commodities sold. Even with government subsidies and low import duties, the use of costly inputs in agriculture eventually reflects in the final agricultural commodity.

The second factor restraining the growth of the agricultural robots and drones market is the requirement of a huge capital investment. While agricultural robots and other related technologies are developed to ease farming operations, they carry a high cost of investment that farmers need to consider before using them for automating their farmlands. Considering that the prices for technologically advanced machinery are comparatively higher than that of conventional farm equipment, there is a huge gap between the forces of demand and supply.

Lack of technical awareness amongst farmers is another factor restraining the growth of the market for robots and drones in agriculture. Even though, robotics and automation in daily farming operations make tasks easy, most farmers still lack expertise and technical knowledge on how to operate this equipment efficiently.

Opportunities in the Market
However, there are multiple opportunities present in the market. These opportunities, including advancements in artificial intelligence technology and machine learning solutions, increasing establishments of indoor farms, and the growth of service economy in agriculture industry, among others, have the potential to boost the growth of the market.

Agriculture Drone and Robot Market Segmentation
The recent market intelligence report published on global agriculture drones and robots market by BIS Research shares the detailed segmentation of the market for the purpose of study. The market has been segmented broadly on the basis of global agriculture drones market and global agriculture robots market.

The agriculture drones market is further segmented based on market type, application, and region. The agriculture robots market is segmented based on type, farm produce, business model, farming environment, and region.

Targeting each of the broad segments separately, the agriculture drones market by type is sub-segmented into fixed wing drone, single rotor drone, multi rotor drone, and hybrid VTOL drone. The sub-segmentation of the application segment of the drones market includes soil and field mapping and analysis, field supervision, crop health assessment and crop spraying. Further, on the basis of region, the agriculture drones market has been studied for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest-of the-world (ROW).

On the other hand, the agriculture robots market, by type, is sub-segmented into milking robots, harvesting and picking robots, weeding robots, autonomous robot tractors, and others. In the year 2018, milking robots dominated the market; however, harvesting and picking robots are expected to dominate the market with a significant share by 2028. Autonomous robot tractors is one segment, which is expected to showcase the most promising growth among all other segments.

The farm produce sub-segment of the market is further segregated into livestock produce fruits and vegetables, field crops, and others. In 2018, the livestock produce segment dominated the market; however, by 2028, it is the fruits and vegetables segment that is expected to dominate the market, and the field crops section is projected to display the maximum growth among all segments.

Agricultural robot-as-a product (ARaaP) and agricultural robot-as-a-service (ARaaS) are the sub-categorization of the business model segment of the market. Out of these two segments, the ARaaP dominated the segment in 2018 and is expected to continue its dominance till 2028. However, ARaaS is anticipated to grow at a highest CAGR during the forecast period from 2019 to 2028.

In addition, indoor and outdoor farming are the sub-segments of the farming environment segment of the agriculture robots market. The indoor farming environment dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to continue its dominance by 2028. However, the outdoor farming environment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR between the two during the forecast period.

Lastly, the market based on region can be segmented into major regions, such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest-of-the-World (ROW). Among these regions, Europe is contributing approximately 42.12% of the total market share, followed by the North America. However, during the forecast period from 2018 to 2028, Asia-Pacific region is expected to display the highest growth in the market.


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