Since 2017, Development Gateway has been working on the Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) Program with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented in partnership with the International Fertilizer Development Center’s AfricaFertilizer.org program. The goal of the program is to support development partners and the private sector to respond efficiently and effectively to changes in the fertilizer market, ensuring that sufficient quantities and appropriate fertilizers reach farmers at the right time for planting. In order to reach this goal, VIFAA fills key fertilizer information gaps, increases data-driven policy and investment decisions in the fertilizer sector, and develops comprehensive, user-centered fertilizer data dashboards.
In late 2021, building on the successes around closing the data gaps and making the fertilizer data more accessible through dashboards, VIFAA received funding to expand the program to include four to six additional countries through 2023. We are calling this new phase the VIFAA Accelerator. The Accelerator came at an appropriate time as global fertilizer prices have had a significant impact on African markets’ that are highly vulnerable to the increase in agriculture input costs. In addition, the African Union Commission is planning to host the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in 2023 where data-driven solutions will be instrumental in the development of a 10 year Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan for the continent.
Through the VIFAA program, we have developed fertilizer dashboards to support farmers in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria – in addition to the COVID-19 Africa Fertilizer Watch Dashboard. We are still in the process of refining the next phase of VIFAA countries. The prioritization process will review data availability and country stakeholder interest, among other considerations.
VIFAA Ghana Dashboard
VIFAA Kenya Dashboard
VIFAA Nigeria Dashboard
Finding reliable agriculture data in sub-Saharan Africa is often difficult. If available at all, data is usually fragmented and tucked away in silos within government ministries or closely held by private companies. It is also significantly delayed or in a format that makes analysis difficult. For stakeholders who need information for decision making, a lack of reliable data is a significant barrier. The Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) program is working towards making fertilizer-related data, a key subset of agriculture data, more accessible to stakeholders for decision making.
In advance of the first VIFAA country dashboard launch next week, we will explore the importance and source of accurate and reliable data for each of the indicators. This is a crucial step in making data available in a way that stakeholders can use to inform their decisions.
The COVID-19 Africa Fertilizer Watch Dashboard, covering 28 countries across sub-Saharan Africa was launched today. This dashboard uses 11 indicators to track COVID-19 country-specific mitigation measures on the delivery & use of fertilizers to identify impacts on productivity & food security across the continent. The goal of this dashboard is to support efficient and effective responses to the evolving global health emergency, and ensure that sufficient and appropriate fertilizers reach farmers.
Mr. Gideon Negedu, the Executive Secretary of The Fertilizer Producers & Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN,) describes using rumors for planning and the importance of the VIFAA Nigeria Dashboard in evidence-based advocacy.