Farm Radio International

1404 Scott Street
Ottawa, ON K1Y 4M8
Executive Director: Kevin Perkins
Board Chair: Doug Ward

Charitable Reg. #:11888 4808 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 82 cents are available for programs.

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About Farm Radio International:

Founded in 1979, Farm Radio International fights poverty and food scarcity in Africa. The charity works with radio partners across sub-Saharan Africa to share effective farming practices with farmers. Farm Radio International reports that across Africa, 2% of farmers have landline access, 3% have internet access, and 18% have mobile phones. In contrast, 76% of farmers have radio set access, making radio an effective way to share farming practices. 

Farm Radio International runs three major programs to help African farmers improve their farming practices: Radio Projects, Radio Innovations, and Radio Resources. Farm Radio International reports working with more than 800 radio partners in 40 countries in F2018, including working directly on development projects with 143 partner radio stations in 11 countries. Farm Radio reached an estimated 20 million people across rural Africa with life-changing information, four million of whom made a positive change in their farming practices.  

Radio Projects (Impact Programming) made up 60% of program costs in F2018. Farm Radio works with radio broadcast organizations to make radio an extension tool in Africa, where farmers can learn about: affordable, effective and sustainable ways to eliminate weeds, pests and diseases; climate change adaptation strategies; new crop varieties; and more. Farm Radio also believes radio can be used by farmers to voice their needs, experiences, and perspectives to policy makers and program planners. The charity’s impact projects deliver special radio campaigns and programs that relate to specific development challenges.Farm Radio reports running 62 impact projects in F2018, 25 more than in F2017.   

Radio Resources made up 31% of program costs in F2016. Farm Radio International offers broadcaster resources to African broadcasters, who can produce and present relevant radio programs. Resources offered by the charity help broadcasters give high-quality radio programs. In F2018, Farm Radio provided 143 resources to 1,979 broadcasters across sub-Saharan Africa. The charity also facilitated an e-discussion on revenue generation, with 126 broadcasters from 24 countries.  

Radio Innovation made up 9% of program costs in F2018. Farm Radio develops innovative digital solutions and develops engaging new radio approaches to make radio more effective and interactive. Uliza, Swahili for “ask,” is used by Farm Radio to allow listeners to communicate with their radio station quickly and free of charge. In F2018, the charity reported 283,126 interactions between listeners and stations via Uliza 

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Results and Impact

Farm Radio International states that 40-60% of potential listeners listen to one of its typical interactive radio programs about agriculture, which leads to 20% of listeners applying new, more productive practices on their farms. Farm Radio also estimates that it costs about $1 (CAD) for each farmer who applies a better farm practice because of listening to a Farm Radio-supported educational radio series.  

Farm Radio International ran a radio campaign from 2015 to 2018 to test a new way to scale the adoption of proven agricultural technologies in Tanzania. Farm Radio reports that more than 508,000 adults listened to at least one episode of the radio program, and more than 128,000 farmers adopted at least one improved legume technology. The charity also ran a campaign aimed at increasing the production of staple crops including teff, maize, sorghum, beans and wheat in Ethiopia. Listeners were 2.5 times more likely to plant their teff in rows, and 81% understood row planting advantages compared to non-listeners.  

Charity Intelligence has given Farm Radio a Good impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Good

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Farm Radio International is a medium-sized charity with donations of $3.9m in F2018. Administrative costs are 10% of revenues and fundraising costs are 8% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 82 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $1.7m can cover 5 months of program spending.

This report is an update that has been sent to Farm Radio International for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on June 14, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.0%8.7%9.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.0%8.3%6.1%
Total overhead spending 18.0%17.0%15.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 41.7%11.9%36.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,8804,9294,687
Government funding 142389398
Other income 1,082976785
Total revenues 5,1056,2955,870
Program costs - International 2,3723,4923,126
Program costs - Canada 1,7901,8061,835
Administrative costs 509546527
Fundraising costs 312410288
Total spending 4,9836,2545,776
Cash flow from operations 1224193
Capital spending 0119
Funding reserves 1,7346301,784

Note: Ci reported International and Canadian program costs as broken down in the notes of the audited financial statements. Ci reported Other Project Grants in donations and re-allocated government and international funding. Other Revenue includes $1.0m in international donations in F2018, $902k in international donations in F2017, and $702k in international donations in F2016. Government funding includes amounts from Global Affairs Canada.  The number of full-time staff refers to Canadian staff only. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 20

Avg. Compensation: $47,966

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

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Comments & Contact

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Learn more about Farm Radio International through the following videos:

Charity Contact

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