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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Precision agriculture research in sub-Saharan Africa countries: a systematic map

Nyaga, Justine M.; Onyango, Cecilia M.; Wetterlind, Johanna; Soderstrom, Mats


Precision agriculture (PA) has a huge potential for growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), but it faces a number of social-economic and technological challenges. This study sought to map existing PA research and application in SSA countries following the methodology for systematic mapping in environmental sciences. After screening for relevance, the initial about 7715 articles was reduced to 128. Results show that most of the studies were conducted in countries with socio-economic and technological advancement, mainly South Africa followed by Nigeria and Kenya. The studies were conducted at various scales ranging from field to country level with field scale studies being the most common. Most studies were conducted in relatively small farms typical of most farmlands in SSA. Studies done in relatively large farms are fewer, and such farms would likely belong to a few organisations and individuals with high economic capacity. Many of these studies have been conducted by researchers from outside SSA and a combination of researchers from within and outside SSA. However, based on authorship of the articles, it appears that most of the studies conducted in SSA on precision agriculture have either involved or depended on non-African researchers. It is concluded that there have been significant strides towards use of precision agriculture in SSA. However, with about 21 countries having no research done, there exists greater potential for precision agriculture in the region. Besides, there is need for more research to investigate the low usage of precision agriculture for livestock management.


Precision agriculture; Remote sensing; Sensors; GIS; Climate smart agriculture; Sub-Saharan Africa

Published in

Precision Agriculture
2021, volume: 22, number: 4, pages: 1217-1236
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Nyaga, Justine M. (Nyaga, Justine M.)
University of Embu (UoEm)
Onyango, Cecilia M.
University of Nairobi
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment

Associated SLU-program


Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger
SDG1 No poverty

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)