New dashboard to address fertilizer challenges in Ghana

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Ghana's Country Lead for Gateway Development, Mr Wekem Raymond Avatim (left) speaking at the press conference. With him is Mr Fred Gyasi, a Website and Fertilizer Statistics Specialist.
Ghana's Country Lead for Gateway Development, Mr Wekem Raymond Avatim (left) speaking at the press conference. With him is Mr Fred Gyasi, a Website and Fertilizer Statistics Specialist.

Ghana has been selected as a focal country for the implementation of a new dashboard (website) called Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA).

The dashboard seeks to address a number of challenges in the fertilizer industry in Ghana, particularly in the area of providing accurate and timely information on fertilizer production, pricing, supply and use.

The goal of the dashboard is to help fertilizer industry actors to respond appropriately to changes in the fertilizer market in order to ensure that sufficient and appropriate fertilizers reach farmers at the right time for planting.

The dashboard will also fill key fertilizer information gaps, provide up-to-date data to help policy and investment decisions in the fertilizer sector so as to meet the needs of stakeholders.

The VIFAA was developed by Development Gateway (DG), in collaboration with the AfricaFertilizer.org (AFO) initiative of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Development Gateway (DG) is an international nonprofit organisation that creates innovative information management and data visualization technology.

Press conference

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Friday morning, September 17, 2021, the Ghana Country Lead for Gateway Development, Mr Wekem Raymond Avatim, expressed the hope that the Dashboard would enrich decision making among stakeholders in the fertilizer industry.

“We hope that it (dashboard) will bring improvement in the forecasting of the purchasing of fertilizers in the country,” he noted, adding “The essence of the dashboard is to help government address the challenges with fertilizers with accurate data.”

For him, the key beneficiaries would be “our farmers who work to ensure agriculture production and productivity.”

Launching

A Website and Fertilizer Statistics Specialist, Mr Fred Gyasi in conducting journalists through the dashboard, said the dashboard, which would be launched on Wednesday September 22, 2021, would help policy makers and fertilizer dealership companies in particular to plan ahead of time with data.

He said information on the dashboard would be updated regularly (monthly and yearly) so as to ensure the relevance of its data, explaining that developers of the dashboard work with all the key stakeholders in the fertilizer sector—public and private sectors, to get the right information on time.

Mr Gyasi noted that the dashboard would serve as a one-stop shop of information on fertilizer, hence enabling all key stakeholders to make informed decisions on time.

He said the dashboard had been stocked with information on fertilizer from 2010 to date.

Stakeholders

The launch is expected to bring together key stakeholders in the fertilizer industry, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), COCOBOD, Canadian High Commission, USAID West Africa, West Africa Fertilizer Association (WAFA), and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).