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Robots considered to combat UK farm worker shortage

Robots could be used to pick fruit under new plans to prevent supermarket shelves going empty and food rotting in fields. UK's ‘White Paper’ food strategy has been rewritten to include plans against labour shortages which could see more automation on British farms to combat a post-Brexit dependence on foreign imports. After watching the impact of war in Ukraine leaving food shortages in supermarkets, Ministers have ordered a review into new measures such as machinery replacing human fruit pickers to stop the same lack of food causing further price increases.

Plans will also target the impact of soaring gas prices which have caused an inflation for the cost of fertiliser, making it far more expensive for UK farmers to grow fruit and vegetables. The strategy will also look at the impact of climate change on farmers.

Scientists at the University of Plymouth have been developing technology to improve robotic fruit and vegetable pickers after previous models have been found to be too clumsy and easily ruin softer fruits like raspberries and strawberries.


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