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Labour-saving for Horticulture (WG) - HH3610SX

An audit on labour will be completed, exploring opportunities for developing automation and other labour-reducing practices, in order to make recommendations to Defra on future funding priorities in the labour saving area for the UK horticultural sector.For ROAME HH36 - Sustainable use of natural resources and labour – one of the policy objectives is: To provide the horticultural industry with efficient production systems which use natural resources, particularly energy, water and labour efficiently. Both Defra (science and innovation strategy) and the industry list labour replacement as the top research priority. Labour is expensive and difficult to secure and retain. Horticulture is too diverse for a generic solution, each cropping system has its own limitations. As a result, rational decisions about where research can make the biggest, most cost-effective impact require up-to-date information on labour costs, patterns and alternatives, as well as the identification of opportunities for next-generation automation. This audit will gather and analyse this information and make recommendations about where future investment in strategic research is most likely to benefit the horticultural grower. A partnership of physiologists, engineers, geneticists and employment economists will assess, value and report on the scope of achievable labour reductions and by what means it can be secured, for UK horticultural crops. The report will identify areas in which strategic biological and engineering research is most likely to contribute significant reductions in labour costs or related measures in the short, medium and longer terms.
1. Identify labour-sensitive activities, their costs and current options for labour reduction
2. Quantify and evaluate competitive impact, complexity, socio-economic factors and added value of selected strategies
3. Compile a set of recommendations for Defra, listing research priorities for securing the greatest benefit in labour saving.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Labour saving in horticulture   (1418k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2005

Cost: £74,558
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Natural Resource Use              
Natural Resources and Labour              
Rural Communities              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Fields of Study