The coronavirus pandemic and a shortage of farming employees features resulted in an increase in interest and financial investment in farm robotics and automation.

We have seen a huge rise in interest and instructions, said pl johan from, chief executive of norway's tale robotics.

Saga has gotten about 40 purchases from british farmers because of its thorvald robot, which transports crates of produce, weeds and harvests strawberries whilst killing mildew along with its ultraviolet light. the uv technology's capacity to kill viruses has also enter into focus, additionally the business has just raised nkr100m ($11m) for further r&d.

As well as straight farms, in which vegetables and natural herbs cultivated under light-emitting diode lights tend to be watered and fed with reduced labour, the rising interest has additionally generated a rise in opportunities.

Year-to-date financing of start-ups into the farm robotics and automation sector, including straight and indoor facilities, has jumped 40 %, based on dealroom, which provides information on start-ups and high-growth companies.

Problems about labour shortages and agriculture are not new the uk was hit by a-sharp fall-in employees from eastern europe showing up since the brexit vote, while california along with other crucial producing regions in america happen experiencing labour shortages for years.

But the pandemic has exacerbated the issue, with areas of fruits & vegetables left unharvested as many employees have now been struggling to mix borders although some happen struck down by the virus.

Column chart of funding of start-ups all over the world ($m) showing opportunities in farm robotics and automation rises

Rob leclerc, founding lover at ca based vc agfunder, said that covid-19, which had required the closing of farms and food flowers, was now leading to cashflow problems at farming businesses.

We have started initially to see genuine buyer interest and grip, including from lenders to these organizations, he stated. he included this features accelerated their company's financial investment task into the group, which include a number of farm robotic start-ups because the pandemic hit.

Sam watson jones, co-founder of british start up small robot company, stated he had been today getting constant phone calls from about the whole world.

Every person from growers of olives to blueberries to hazelnuts have been around in touch. all those areas tend to be facing a labour shortage problem.

The increase in demand has arrived at the same time whenever technology, including the sensors and processors that energy device learning as well as the algorithms behind the robots, features progressed rapidly over the past few years. digital technology has also become less expensive and simpler to gain access to, making starting a small business much more viable. there's been a big step of progress over the past several years, said sagas mr from.

Backers of farm robotics and automation believe the existing rise in interest markings the start of significant improvement in the agricultural industry.

We're at the start of a transformation, stated alastair cooper at agri and food tech vc adm capital, that will be an investor in saga.

On the next decade or two, farming is going to be transformed by robotics and automation. anything from harvesting, spraying, irrigation, gathering data, and handling, [is set to change]," he added.