Thailand is a
major fruit production base globally; although the world economy is facing a
crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the total value of Thai fruit
exports this year should be able to sustain a growth to THB120-150 billion, or
6.1-10.5% year-on-year. Along with the need to accelerate the improvement of productivity
to meet the growing demand for food in the future, it is important to promote
the use of more technologies in the agricultural sector, particularly at the
harvesting stage of agricultural production, where mostly manual labor is used,
in order to harvest fruits of high yield and good quality for sale on the
A fruit picking robot is a kind
of agricultural technology (AgriTech) with high accuracy compared to manual
fruit picking. They can solve the problems that occur in the picking process,
especially fruit quality problems, because they can reduce fruit picking losses
due to their high accuracy in predicting the timing for fruit picking. The use
of a fruit picking robot over its 10-year service life is expected to generate
an additional income for farmers totaling about THB5.9 million as a result of
the good selling prices achieved. The cost of using a fruit picking robot is
around THB0.4 million, which is not much different from the cost of manual labor.
Thus, the use of a fruit picking robot instead of manual labor will give farmers
an additional profit of about THB5.5 million or THB0.55 million per year, with
the investment being paid back in the fourth year after the start of use,
reflecting the efficiency of fruit picking robots.
that Thailand should first use fruit picking robots with high-value fruits such
as durians, mangosteens, mangoes and bananas, which are Thailand’s main exported
fruits and are quality-conscious to consumers, and secondly with fruits such as
longans, lychees and pineapples, which are sold in bulk and are not
quality-conscious to consumers as those fruits are mainly processed.
robots will not only greatly help Thailand improve the quality of its fruit, but
also create added value for Thai export-grade fruits to meet the needs of the
consumer market that focuses on quality. This will improve the standards for exports,
falling in line with the government’s policy guidelines under the Eastern Fruit
Corridor Project to promote Thailand as the “Global Capital of Fruit” by 2021.
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