Case Study

Visualizing Information on Seeds Using Technology in Africa (TASAI-VISTA)

The timely availability of high-quality, affordable seeds is critical to improving food security, resilience, and livelihoods for smallholder farmers in Africa. Specifically, monitoring seed systems enables us to diagnose gaps and prioritize needs to ensure food security. 1

2019 - Present Agriculture

Background

Seed systems are the network of actors and institutions that facilitate a farmer’s access to seeds. The formal seed sector focuses on breeding and evaluating improved varieties, as well as producing, processing, and marketing certified seed. In the formal system, these activities and responsible institutions are all defined in the seed law and regulations. 2

Supporting Seed Systems

Since 2019, in partnership with The African Seed Access Index (TASAI), DG through the VISTA program has been working to help decision-makers, public sector, development partners, private sector businesses, and farmers visualize and use data to support a fully functional formal seed system. Currently, TASAI manually collects information on 21 indicators in 20 countries. DG is working to digitize the data collection and validation process through digital survey tools. The collected data will be transformed from traditional narrative reports in PDF into easy-to-understand data visualizations and a publicly accessible dashboard. The dashboard will assess seed quality, availability, accessibility, and price in 16 countries in Africa.

DG is working with TASAI to ensure that the indicators are gender-sensitive and on mapping stakeholders to better understand and meet user needs. Finally, as TASAI is still a newer non-profit organization, DG is advising TASAI on monitoring and evaluation plans, administrative systems, and future funding. By digitizing the data processes, creating an actionable dashboard, and supporting TASAI as the organization grows, DG is working to diagnose information use gaps, ensure a sustainable impact on the larger seed system, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

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Dr. Folarin Okelola from the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) recently sat down with DGer Aminata Camara Badji to discuss the TASAI Dashboard, which was created in partnership with The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) and will help stakeholders assess seed quality, availability, accessibility, and price in 17 countries in Africa.

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