Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA)

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Sub-Saharan Africa

The VIFAA program is led by DG, with partners Wallace & Associates, Technoserve, and Results for Development. Through a four-year partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are implementing a program to improve, manage, and visualize fertilizer data in Africa.

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 since 1950. Mortality rates have declined, fertility rates have risen – but what does a shifting demographic dividend mean for keeping up with food security?

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 need the means to better collect, analyze, and use relevant data to encourage fertilizer use.

 

Building on the 2017 Fertilizer Dashboard Scoping

In 2017, DG, with partners Wallace & Associates and Results for Development, spoke with more than 100 agricultural stakeholders across Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania in a Scoping Study on Dashboard Development for Fertilizer Systems. The goal of the three-month scoping was to inform the potential development of a fertilizer dashboard for SSA that can provide insight for decision-makers on sector performance. The team identified significant unmet demand for fertilizer data and promising innovations in data collection that could be supported by the implementation of a fertilizer dashboard program.

All stakeholders will increasingly require reliable, high-quality fertilizer data to inform their planning and strategy decisions, but data use is currently limited by both insufficient supply and understanding of the needs and priorities of key decision-makers.

 

The Program

VIFAA was designed to holistically address the supply, demand, and use of fertilizer data at both country and regional levels.

Throughout, we are facilitating cross-stakeholder collaboration around key decisions that can be supported with data, filling key data gaps, co-designing dashboards, and supporting change management from data use.

 

data use fertilizer

 

In addressing the political economy of fertilizer decision-making and supporting strengthened data supply at country level, we will deliver dashboards that provide the data and intelligence needed to support real decisions prioritized by key public and private sector stakeholders.  Through better decisions by public and private sector actors, countries can improve their performance on the AU Agriculture Transformation Scorecard indicator of fertilizer use.

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

 

Growing Connections Across DG

We will build on DG's existing programs and use lessons learned in how we collect, share, and use results data through the Results Data Initiative (RDI), and in addressing gaps in enabling environments for data use through the Des Chiffres et Des Jeunes (DCDJ) project.

VIFAA joins DG’s growing body of work in the agriculture sector, which also includes the mSTAR project and assessing the implementation of a National Agriculture Management Information System (NAMIS) in Malawi.

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