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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16343-16370
Bioline Code: nd20078
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16343-16370

Onyancha, OB & Onyango, EA


The purpose of this study was to assess research articles published on ICT4Ag in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to determining the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the agricultural sector in the region. The agricultural sector in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most important sectors that have greatly benefited from the application of ICTs. Research on the application of ICTs is rapidly expanding and therefore requires synthesis to gauge the extent of publication, the subject focus of the research on ICTs for agriculture (hereafter simply referred to as ICT4Ag), and the trend of publication and countries contributing to research on ICT4Ag in sub-Saharan African countries. Relevant data were obtained from the Web of Science (WoS) citation databases using a search query, which combined a variety of agricultural terms and several key, words that constitute ICTs. It was found that ICTs are largely applied for communication and dissemination of agricultural information to and among stakeholders, including farmers and extension workers. Areas of application involve land use, crops [production], animal husbandry, conservation, [soil and crop] management, and climate change. In terms of the broad disciplinary context, the application of ICTs in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa occurs mostly in agronomy, environmental sciences, and dairy and animal science. Although only a few specific names of ICTs were found in the literature on agriculture, ICT-led activities and applications such as remote sensing, GIS, computer programs, software, Landsat, and information systems, among others, provided insight into not only the areas but also the nature of ICT application in agriculture in the region. The internet, radio, computers and mobile phones were among the few types of ICTs that featured in the ICT4Ag literature and are, therefore, deemed to be the commonly used in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Concerning the foreign countries that have collaborated with sub-Saharan Africa in ICT4Ag research, the USA, France and England featured the most, thereby signalling the continuation of colonial legacies in the region. Furthermore, the pattern of collaboration may signal the nature of knowledge and innovation diffusion for ICT4Ag in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, results reveal a diversity of areas of ICT application in agriculture in the region. The study makes recommendations for further research in other geographical regions for comparison purposes; a study to explore other bibliographic databases such as Scopus; and a study to assess the impact of the ICTs on agricultural performance of the affected countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa; Information technologies; Innovations; ICTs; ICT4Ag; Agriculture; Farming; Bibliometrics

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