By Edwin Githinji


a) VIFAA dashboard view.

Kenya’s farmers will now have easy access to critical information on the current fertilizer trends, following the launch of a digital tool by the government of Kenya through the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries.

Visualizing Insights on Fertiliser for Africa Agriculture (VIFAA) dashboard aims at improving food productivity by guiding farmers on the best crop and region-specific inputs to use, as well as increasing fertiliser usage in the country.

The online dashboard portal publishes information on fertilizer retail prices, the recommended usage rate per hectare, and real-time information on when to apply specific products on targeted plantations to ensure optimal yields.

“Timely and accurate data is critical to support closing the gap between farmer demand and fertilizer supply during the planting season. VIFAA seeks to visualize key information on fertilizer prices, usage, availability and policy at the county and national government,” said the ministry.

Fertiliser supply has seen impressive growth over the last decade, compared to the historical low consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa. National and international organizations took notice of this, and are increasingly looking to boost agricultural production through improvements of farmers’ fertilizer consumption.

However, the lack of reliable data has made it hard for the actors to make decisions based on real-time needs. 

To address this challenge,  Development Gateway led a four-year program, in partnership with Wallace &Associates, International Fertilizer DevelopmentCenter, and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership to create a user-friendly dashboard, that would meet all the analytical needs of the stakeholders.

Through this effort, Visualising Insights on Fertiliser for African Agriculture (VIFAA), was born. It is expected that this digital tool will help to achieve the ultimate ambitious agricultural goals set by the African leaders, as well as implement sustainable policies and market-driven solutions on agricultural inputs and the agribusiness value chain.

Kenya’s VIFAA dashboard is the first one of its kind to be launched in Africa, with Nigeria and Ghana set to follow on launching the program soon.