Japanese robotic farming experiment
Japan just launched a $130 million (10 billion yen) robotic farming project on a 600 acre plot of land, It is hoped the 6 year experiment will rejuvenate the Japanese agricultural industry. Funding is from a consortium of farmers, high-tech manufacturers and the government’s agricultural ministry; the land was swamped by the March tsunami.
Unmanned tractors will work fields and other robots will harvest and pick and pack rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and other vegetables.
The consortium plans to urge local farmers to consolidate their farmland in similar co-ops where the economics make the use of robots for farming automation affordable.