September 15, 2020 – A new online tool designed for producers, farmers, and other actors in certain value chains to access critical information on agriculture input recommendations/packages will be launched virtually on September 22, 2020. The Fertilizer and Seed Recommendations for West Africa Map (FeSeRWAM) is a geographical information system and web-based platform that captures, stores, and provides information regarding data-visualization recommendation of seeds and fertilizers.
The platform aims to increase the demand for and use of appropriate fertilizers and improved seeds to increase agricultural productivity in West Africa.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa provides funding for this initiative through the Feed the Future Enhancing Growth through Regional Agricultural Input Systems (EnGRAIS) and Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) Programs, implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), respectively.
"Farmers across the West Africa region, just as other parts of sub-Sahara Africa, continue to contend with very low yields because of difficulties accessing vital information on improved seeds and appropriate fertilizers. FeSeRWAM is a major solution to address this challenge sustainably," says Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, Director of Research and Innovation at CORAF.
"For stakeholders in the agricultural sector, particularly in the seed and fertilizer value chains across West Africa, the FeSeRWAM is a one-stop online tool that will deliver key technical site-specific information on improved seeds, appropriate fertilizer blends, and good agriculture practices," says Dr. Oumou Camara, Regional Director, IFDC North and West Africa.
The FeSeRWAM platform is expected to support decision-making and enable farmers to increase their agricultural productivity and improve their general well-being.
Through a collaborative process that lasted nearly two years, the platform's development involved more than 350 stakeholders from various national and regional organizations.
FeSeRWAM is designed and targeted to benefit:
- Agro-dealers and agricultural extension agents to determine agricultural input packages (AIPs) suitable for their specific agro-ecological zones (AEZs), which can be used as backstopping and training material for local farmers.
- Policy- and decision-makers to select AIPS for subsidy programs
- Researchers to adapt one country’s AIP to the specific AEZ of another country
- Fertilizer blenders to use nutrient requirements to select appropriate raw materials for blending site-specific fertilizers.
Besides supporting decision-making, farmer backstopping, and training by agro-dealers and agricultural extensionists, FeSeRWAM will generate AIPs that have been developed by experts from the national agricultural research systems and validated by national and regional stakeholders.
The use of these packages will improve agricultural productivity and reduce food insecurity in West Africa.
Andy Thigpen ([email protected])
David Akana ([email protected])