Case Study

Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the lowest fertilizer usage in the world – insufficient to replace soil nutrients lost every year to crop production. To maintain agricultural productivity and sustain farmers, both the government and the private sector in Africa need to better collect, analyze, and use relevant data to encourage fertilizer use. Through the VIFAA Program, we are working with partners on dashboards and tools to improve, manage, and visualize fertilizer data in Africa. VIFAA is a six-year program led by DG in partnership with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Wallace & Associates, and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Vifaa” means “tool” in Swahili, but this program will go beyond delivering dashboards – it will also strengthen data supply and support improved policies and investments to increase fertilizer affordability, availability, and quality.

2017 - Present Agriculture

In 2017, DG conducted a Scoping Study on Dashboard Development for Fertilizer Systems in partnership with Wallace & Associates, Results for Development, and TechnoServe. Through this three-month study, we spoke with more than 100 agricultural stakeholders across Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The goal was to inform the development of a fertilizer dashboard for SSA, which would provide insight on sector performance for decision-makers. All stakeholders will increasingly require reliable, high-quality fertilizer data to inform their planning and strategy, but data use is currently limited by both insufficient supply and understanding of the needs and priorities of key decision-makers. Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) is a six year program (2018-2024) designed to provide vital fertilizer data and information to governments, civil society organizations, and private sector players across SSA.

Deeper Dive: Increasing the Use of Fertilizer Data

VIFAA was designed to holistically address the supply, demand, and use of fertilizer data at both country and regional levels. DG initially designed dashboards for Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana’s  fertilizer markets and have since expanded to Senegal, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Ethiopia. supplies trade, production, consumption, and price data for 13 fertilizer products across 9+ countries, along with cross-country comparison features and downloadable data sets. The website also has an interactive map showing fertilizer plants across the region. After the shocks to the fertilizer market from the onset of COVID-19 in 2020 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, DG created Africa Fertilizer Watch, a monitoring tool with market risk information, affordability and availability of fertilizer, and distribution channels. 

In addition, VIFAA’s Data Innovation Fund is making investments to increase the data supply that provides the intelligence needed to support decisions prioritized by key public and private sector stakeholders. These data investments have been done in collaboration with Quantitative Engineering Design ( to map croplands in Nigeria and Ghana as well as support the upscaling of fertilizer retail price collection methodology in Kenya. The data innovation investment project has the potential to improve country-level fertilizer use and performance on the AU Agriculture Transformation Scorecard indicator.


Since the launch of in October 2022, thousands of new users access the website each month. The website was co-designed and data validated with input from more than 300 stakeholders in order to carefully serve the needs of those working in the fertilizer value chain. The program has collected more than 50 use cases showing how private and public sector decision-makers use our fertilizer data for pricing fertilizer, business decisions, and public policy. VIFAA will eventually be fully owned by our implementing partner, AfricaFertilizer. DG will continue to lead the technical implementation of the website until November 2024. 

DG is pleased to be of assistance to AfricaFertilizer in their efforts to standardize their data collection and validation procedures. Our primary goal is to provide the in-country team with the necessary tools and knowledge to ensure the success of their engagement strategy. This will involve offering guidance on business development, providing user training, collecting impact stories, and delivering expertise in data collection. Furthermore, we will provide training to the AfricaFertilizer team on handling technical components such as configuring system backlogs, uploading data, and managing WordPress edits. Our aim is to establish as the leading fertilizer data platform on the continent and to support its expansion throughout Africa.

VIFAA Kenya Dashboard

VIFAA Nigeria Dashboard

VIFAA Ghana Dashboard

VIFAA Senegal Dashboard

VIFAA Zambia Dashboard


Read more from our Blog

aLIVE Program Reaches Milestone: Livestock Data Standards Endorsed by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture

In early 2024, the "a Livestock Information Vision Ethiopia" (aLIVE) governing committee endorsed a comprehensive set of standards to guide the collection, storage, and maintenance of livestock data in Ethiopia (i.e., a data standard). The data standard specifically focuses on standardizing data on cattle, sheep, goats, and camels in the country. The National Livestock Data Standard document contains standardized data sets for national animal data recording, animal disease, diagnosis, treatment, vaccination recording, animal events recording, location, and other additional attributes.  

March 28, 2024 Agriculture
Unlocking the potential of digital public infrastructure for climate data and agriculture: Malawi

DG’s DAS Program recently attended an event on creating a national digital public infrastructure (DPI) in Malawi in order to increase the impact of climate data to combat current and future agricultural issues caused by climate change. In this blog, we reflect on three insights on DPIs that were revealed during the event discussion.

December 21, 2023 Agriculture
What Does a Good Agriculture Data System Look Like? Reflections from 2023 Festival de Datos

DG's joint session at 2023 Festival de Datos posed the question: What does a “good” agriculture data system look like? In this blog post, we'll delve into the key principles that emerged from the discussion.

December 14, 2023 Agriculture