Title : A critical appraisal of the implications of big data application and information communication technology in smallholder farming in Africa
Smallholder farmers in developing nations face challenges relating to access international markets, increase food production and increase market share for their products. These challenges broadly result from the lack of information communication technology. By employing a literature-based analyses, this paper examines the application of information communication technology in smallholder farming in the African context. The research will be focused on the major drivers and impediments of the adoption of big data in agriculture with a view to present some tentative recommendations as to how the use of Information communication technology and big data can help the smallholder farms in the African context. The paper concludes that though the adoption of big data and the related technologies can substantially increase agriculture productivity. Therefore, appropriate measures, policies, and infrastructure should be established to enable smallholder farmers to get the full benefits and their deployment in the agriculture sector in order to increase productivity that is sustainable and beneficial to the smallholder farms. It is important to note that, even by proxy, the use of information communication technology and the big data must yield some powerful insights on one hand and lead to increasing economic returns, if these conditions are not met, the significant investment, financial and time could potentially become a ‘burden’ to the largely poor smallholder farmers developing countries.