Feasibility analysis of an automated mushroom harvesting system
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Harvesting is the only step in commercial mushroom cultivation that is not yet mechanized. UK based Silsoe Research Institute developed and successfully tested an automated mushroom harvesting robot suitable for agaricus mushroom production. The aim of this thesis is to provide an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of automated mushroom harvesting versus manual, and discuss economic feasibility of adopting this new technology. Different scenarios for manual labor wage rate, mushroom harvester working hours, and the discount rate were examined. The results reveal that in most cases it is economically feasible to use robots in mushroom harvesting process.