About the FESERWAM

The Fertilizer and Seed Recommendations for West Africa Map (FeSeRWAM) is an interactive, digital, online and georeferenced web-based platform that offers key technical, operational, and site-specific agricultural input recommendations targeted at various potential users, particularly smallholder farmers in West Africa. The FeSeRWAM platform was developed through a participatory and inclusive approach, from data collection in countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through five regional and sub-regional validation workshops and an experts’ meeting. The process, which lasted from October 2018 to July 2020, involved more than 350 individuals from various national and regional organizations, private and public sector stakeholders, as well as individual consultants and experts. FeSeRWAM is a digital solution to accelerate yield increases and agricultural productivity across West Africa.

FeSeRWAM is a product of the collaboration between the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) www.ifdc.org and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) www.coraf.org, through their respective Feed the Future Enhancing Growth through Regional Agricultural Input Systems (EnGRAIS) for West Africa and the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education, and Development (PAIRED) projects, with support from other regional and national public and private sector partners.

Background of FeSeRWAM

Low agricultural productivity in sub-Sahara African countries is related to low use of appropriate agricultural inputs, including improved seed varieties and appropriate fertilizers. PAIRED and EnGRAIS are USAID-funded projects with the common goal of developing agricultural input packages, including improved seeds and appropriate fertilizer recommendations for principal crops, and making them available to producers in West Africa. These packages incorporate good agricultural practices (GAPs) and consider the different agroecological zones (AEZs) to increase agricultural production in a sustainable, localized manner.

Goals & Objectives of FeSeRWAM

Goal

FeSeRWAM is expected to become the preferred electronic platform for delivering key technical site-specific information on improved seed, appropriate fertilizer blends, and GAPs for various crops to a variety of users across West Africa in order to support decision-making and to enable farmers to increase their agricultural productivity.

Objectives

Objectives

  • Increase farmers’ yields by providing key technical agricultural information to better grow crops for maximum yields.

  • Provide a platform to support decision-making, farmer backstopping, and training by agro-dealers and agricultural extensionists, who are the closest partners of the farmers

Data Structure and Content

FeSeRWAM presents critical information on the best-bet varieties of the 24 principal crops of West Africa, optimal fertilizer recommendations, and GAPs by AEZ.

FeSeRWAM is designed with two user-friendly interfaces. The first is a view of the West African regional AEZs: semi-arid, sub-humid, and humid. The second provides information at the country level, displaying each AEZ. Within each interface, options are available through a dropdown menu for each variable in the FeSeRWAM database.

FeSeRWAM integrates data on: Location (AEZs, countries, towns, specific locations); Soil (texture, average depth, organic matter, pH); Plant (crops, varieties, local names, specific characteristics); Fertilizer (nutrient recommendations, fertilizer, rate, timing, organic fertilizer); and Crop Management (tillage, water harvesting techniques, crop residue, organic matter, amendments). More than 250 agricultural input packages can be generated from the database of 24 crops and 450 varieties, with 200 fertilizer recommendations across West Africa. The data will soon encompass all 15 ECOWAS countries, plus Chad and Mauritania.

How It Works

  • Step 1. 

    The user selects the appropriate choices on the dropdown menu on the top side of the screen. Choices include West Africa regional agroecological zone (humid, semi-arid, and sub-humid) or the country-specific agroecological zone; Soil parameters include: soil type, texture, average depth, pH, organic matter content and Phosphorous); Crop specification comprises; Variety, local/common name, quantity of seed per hectare, grain color, spacing; and Fertilizer includes: Nutrient recommendation, types of fertilizers, rate, time and method of application.

  • Step 2.

    This query results in a file that can be downloaded (PDF, CSV, or Excel) with the agro-input packages suitable for the specific site.

Anticipated Users
  • Agro-dealers and agricultural extension agents can determine agricultural input packages suitable for their specific sites, which can be used as backstopping and training material for local farmers.
  • Policy- and decision-makers can use the information to select inputs for subsidy programs based on the number and type of existing input packages.
  • Researchers can adapt one country’s agricultural input package to the specific AEZ of another country.
  • Fertilizer blenders can use the nutrient requirements to select appropriate raw materials for blending site-specific fertilizers.

Agro-Input Packages

Agro-input packages contain site-specific information on improved seeds, appropriate fertilizer recommendations, and good agricultural practices. These packages have been developed by experts from the National Agricultural Research Systems in various countries of the West Africa sub-region and validated by national and regional stakeholders. Use of these packages will improve agricultural productivity and contribute to reducing food insecurity in West Africa.

Partners