Launched in 2010 to provide timely data and information on agricultural input markets in East and southern Africa.
The overall use of agro-inputs – organic and mineral fertilizers, quality seeds of superior varieties and crop protection products (CPPs) – in sub-Saharan Africa is extremely low, and fertilizer use rates continue to average below 8 kilograms per hectare. The majority of these agro-inputs are applied at larger farms on cash crops, which means that smallholder farmers’ use of agro-inputs on food crops is even lower than the average. Among the major constraints to the increased use of agro-inputs in East and southern Africa is the lack of general market information about these products.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DECISION SUPPORT TOOL
AMITSA was developed as an information technology decision support tool to increase the use of fertilizer and contribute to the region’s food security.
The web- and mobile phone-based AMITSA system utilizes both private and public sector agro-input stakeholders to collect and process market data and information, such as the prevailing wholesale prices of the most common fertilizers, seeds and CPPs. Agro-dealers, the primary users of AMITSA, can then compare the prices of inputs from different distributors, negotiate with suppliers for better prices and obtain information that better serves their farmer-customers. The countries currently utilizing AMITSA are Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
AMITSA is a collaboration among IFDC, the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
- Improve access to timely data and information on agricultural input markets.
- Establish business linkages among participants in the agricultural value chain.
- Reduce input procurement costs.
- Increase the use of inputs.
- Increase agricultural productivity.