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Enabling Inclusive Agricultural Automation

Agricultural automation reshapes the labour market. In situations of rising wages and labour scarcity, agricultural automation can stimulate employment by allowing producers to expand production and by creating jobs along agrifood systems. Conversely, when labour is plentiful and subsidies lower the cost of automation, there is a risk of job displacement and unemployment, especially for poor and low-skilled workers. Governments should neither subsidize automation, nor restrict it. Instead, they should create an enabling environment for an inclusive process of agricultural automation that ensures access by marginalized groups such as women and small-scale producers, and focuses on building the knowledge and skills of the agricultural workforce to facilitate the transition to new jobs within and outside agriculture.