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Agriculture 4.0: is Sub-Saharan Africa ready?

Jellason, N. P. ORCID:, Robinson, E. J. Z. ORCID: and Ogbaga, C. C. (2021) Agriculture 4.0: is Sub-Saharan Africa ready? Applied Sciences, 11 (12). 5750. ISSN 2076-3417

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/app11125750


A fourth agricultural revolution, termed agriculture 4.0, is gradually gaining ground around the globe. It encompasses the application of smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the internet of things (IoT), big data, and robotics to improve agriculture and the sustainability of food production. To date, narratives around agriculture 4.0 associated technologies have generally focused on their application in the context of higher-income countries (HICs). In contrast, in this perspective, we critically assess the place of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in this new technology trajectory, a region that has received less attention with respect to the application of such technologies. We examine the continent’s readiness based on a number of dimensions such as scale, finance, technology leapfrogging, institutions and governance, education and skills. We critically reviewed the challenges, opportunities, and prospects of adopting agriculture 4.0 technologies in SSA, particularly with regards to how smallholder farmers in the region can be involved through a robust strategy. We find that whilst potential exist for agriculture 4.0 adoption in SSA, there are gaps in knowledge, skills, finance, and infrastructure to ensure successful adoption.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:98834
Uncontrolled Keywords:agriculture 4.0; internet of things (IoT); precision agriculture; robotics; smallholders; sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)


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