Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA)

Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) is a 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, 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. Mortality rates have declined, fertility rates have risen, but what does a shifting demographic dividend mean for 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 to better collect, analyze, and use relevant data to encourage fertilizer use.

Building on the 2017 Fertilizer Dashboard ScopingVIFAA Theory of Change

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.

"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

The Program

VIFAA data visualization
A visualization from the VIFAA dashboard

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.

In close partnerships with Wallace and Associates, IFDC, and Results for Development, DG is co-designing tools that meet the needs of public and private sector stakeholders in our focus countries as well as in the Africa region. 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.

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