Launching the New Website, Advancing Food Security in 18 African Countries

Launching the New Website, Advancing Food Security in 18 African Countries
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Launching the New Website, Advancing Food Security in 18 African Countries

The new website has been launched. The website advances food security throughout Africa by providing in-depth data on fertilizer supply chains and availability in 18 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

The website was developed by (AFO) in partnership with Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) and Wallace & Associates.

Launching the New Website, Advancing Food Security in 18 African Countries

The launch event brought together the private sector, national governments, the African Union (AU), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and development partners to promote the collaborative use of AFO’s data in order to make informed decisions that address and respond to key issues of availability, policy, price, and use in the fertilizer sector in SSA.

Why Fertilizer and 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. Simultaneously, SSA’s population is growing steadily with a population size of over 2 billion people by 2050.

This demographic shift has resulted in an increased need for policy-makers to make decisions that lead to strong agricultural supply chains, including the tools and data needed to ensure sufficient quantities and appropriate fertilizers reach farmers on time for planting.

To help meet this need, AFO, DG, and Wallace & Associates, working with industry sector players at national levels, have co-created and launched three country-specific dashboards in Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana, which aggregate country-specific fertilizer data and act as trustworthy sources.

“Data sometimes looks so complicated, you wonder where to start and how [to] figure it out. This [dashboard] is highly commendable. It is easy to use and contains a lot of useful and helpful data. It will enhance our work as soil scientists and extension agents in making recommendations.” – Professor Victor O. Chude, Registrar/CEO, Nigeria Institute of Soil Science

Launching the New Website, Advancing Food Security in 18 African Countries

The New Africa Fertilizer Website

The new website builds upon previous work by displaying fertilizer data on trade, production, consumption, and retail prices for 18 SSA countries in addition to integrating the current data dashboards for Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.

Users of the new website will have the ability to customize data visualizations for cross-country comparison and access timely information on fertilizer markets. One primary goal behind the website is to allow stakeholders to track progress in meeting the targets identified in the 2006 Abuja Declaration, using the data provided on the website.

The revamped AFO website, which will position AFO as the primary data source for fertilizer data on the African continent, will also serve as a trustworthy source to inform analysis and planning in advance of the 2023 African Union Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit and the design and monitoring of the 10-year action plan on fertilizer in Africa.

The partnership will prioritize engagement with the African Union Commission to build a bridge to AU member countries, with the aim of having AFO recognized as an official data partner.

Finally, the new website will also display the recently launched Africa Fertilizer Watch, a monitoring and early warning systems tool on the impact the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had on the fertilizer markets of 10 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as other indicators tracking overall market risk, affordability, availability, and distribution of fertilizer.

As a result of the new website, policymakers and investors in SSA countries will have the data they need and the in-country networks and processes to jointly analyze and use that data to drive decision-making and inform the design of the Summit’s 10-year Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan.

The Development of the Website

The development of the website began with a scoping mission to identify needs and gaps in data in the fertilizer sector. This was followed by a co-design workshop to validate the findings.

Throughout the design of the website, DG utilized the Agile software development methodology, specifically iterating based on feedback. The website was built using several open-source technologies (Java, React.js, WordPress, etc.) on the foundation of the DG Toolkit.

Felicity Gitonga
Felicity Gitonga is the founder of Africa Business News. abn, freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories.

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