Agriculture 4.0: Is Sub-Saharan Africa Ready?

Nugun P. Jellason, Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson, Chukwuma C. Ogbaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5750
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021


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