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 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.
In November 2022, AfricaFertilizer (AFO), our partner on the Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) program, rebranded and launched a new website. This website includes the integration of country-specific VIFAA dashboards, which were previously housed in separate websites. By integrating the country-specific dashboards as well as fertilizer data on trade, production, consumption, and retail prices for 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the new AFO data allows easier comparative analysis across countries and contributes its quota to the advancement of food security throughout Africa.
We have updated the previous country-specific dashboards links to now redirect you to AFO’s new website in order to ensure you are accessing the most up-to-date resources.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population has grown by 11 million people a year for the past 60 years – for a total of about 670 million people. Mortality rates have declined, fertility rates have risen, but what does a shifting demographic dividend mean for food security?
This four-year program led by DG in partnership with Wallace & Associates, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and Results for Development, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, builds on the 2017 Fertilizer Dashboard Scoping Study.
“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.
In 2017, DG and our partners conducted a Scoping Study on Dashboard Development for Fertilizer Systems. Through this three-month study, we spoke with more than 100 agricultural stakeholders across Ghana, Nigeria, Cote 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.
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. Currently, our country dashboards are focused in Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. These countries were selected in close consultation with country and regional level stakeholders and for the high availability of fertilizer data.
Working closely with our partners, DG is co-designing tools that meet the needs of public and private sector stakeholders in our focus countries as well as in Africa regionally. DG is also working with Quantitative Engineering Design to close crucial gaps in fertilizer data supply.
In addressing the country context of fertilizer decision-making and in supporting strengthened data supply, VIFAA is co-designing dashboards to visualize fertilizer data with and for the fertilizer stakeholders in our focus countries.
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, which can improve country-level fertilizer use and performance on the AU Agriculture Transformation Scorecard indicator.
VIFAA Kenya Dashboard
VIFAA Nigeria Dashboard
VIFAA Ghana Dashboard
VIFAA Senegal Dashboard
VIFAA Zambia Dashboard
Read more from our Blog
Fertilizer Technical Working Groups Provide Key Insights into Africa’s Fertilizer Sector
From June 2021 to September 2022, Development Gateway: An IREX Venture’s (DG’s) Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) program convened 12 Fertilizer Technical Working Groups in 14 countries which have yielded essential information on Africa’s fertilizer sector, including insights on how geopolitical events have impacted the fertilizer sector and what is needed to mitigate resulting threats to food security throughout Africa.
The Cashew-IN Platform: An Assessment of the Cashew Sectors in Five Countries (Part 2)
In the first part of this blog series, we discussed the CALM assessment of the cashew data ecosystem, key findings from the assessment, and how DG is using the findings as well as partner and stakeholder feedback to guide the development of the Cashew-IN platform, a website that will facilitate access to and use of data to improve decision-making for policymakers, farmers, and the private sector. In this blog, we will look at the indicators on the Cashew-IN platform and what the data is telling us about the cashew sector more broadly.
The Cashew-IN Platform: A Deep Dive on Designing to Meet Stakeholder Needs (Part 1)
The Cashew-IN program, which DG started in partnership with Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture in 2020, conducted a landscape assessment of the data in the cashew sectors of five countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria. The assessment findings will inform the Cashew-IN platform, a website that the program is developing to facilitate use of data in order to improve decision-making for policymakers, farmers, and the private sector. In this blog (part 1 of 2), we explore the assessment process, findings, and how stakeholders plan to use the platform.