Recently the agricultural sectors of several EU countries experienced a significant shortage of foreign labor, resulting in farmers suffering whole-crop losses which put the food supply chain at risk. Viticulture includes seasonal activities like cultivation, harvesting, and packaging which demand a lot of land workers on an ad hoc basis. This work used to be conducted by farmers without the need for hired labor, however, as EU agriculture continues toward consolidation, there are now fewer, larger farms, and a growing portion of farm work is now being done by hired labor. As such, due to the scarcity of land workers, significant viticultural tasks, including winter pruning, defoliation, summer pruning, pre-harvesting sampling, and grape harvesting, cannot be accomplished in a reasonable timeframe.
E. Bouloumpasi, A. Karampatea, E. Karapatzak, S. Theocharis, E. Tziolas, C. Lytridis, T. Pachidis, S. Mamalis, S. Koundouras, V. G. Kaburlasos, “An autonomous multi-agrobot design for skillful vinicultural tasks”, 44th World Congress of Vine and Wine (Theme: Vitiviniculture and Information Technologies) and the 21th General Assembly of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Cadiz, Spain, 5-9 Jun 2023.