Farm Radio International

1404 Scott Street
Ottawa, ON K1Y 4M8
Executive Director: Kevin Perkins
Board Chair: John van Mossel

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) 70 cents are available for programs.

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About Farm Radio International:

Founded in 1979, Farm Radio International (FARM) was created by Canadian radio broadcaster George Atkins, who realized the disconnect between the wide African radio audience and the lack of good information being offered to farmers while on a trip in Zambia. Coming from both a farming and radio-broadcasting background himself, George saw radio as a widely accessible solution to the scarce information available to small-scale African farmers. With at least 75% of households in developing countries having access to a radio, and the African countries FARM works in ranked as some of the least developed in the world, FARM thus works to make radio a force for change in rural Africa. 

A Charity Intelligence 2021 Top 10 International Aid Impact Charity

Farm Radio International works in 41 countries to improve the livelihood of rural Africans by enabling access to information. It is the only international non-profit focused on using radio to inspire change in African farming communities. In F2020, Farm Radio International reached 13 million listeners of its 33 million potential audience. FARM's goal is to serve 40 million rural people with a radio project that supports them in making a change in their life by 2025.

FARM's core program is Radio Projects. It also runs two smaller programs, Radio Resources, and Radio Innovation, which improve rural radio provision. 

Radio Projects: This program was 65% of annual program spending in F2020. Farm Radio works with over 1,000 radio broadcast organizations to encourage effective development through radio broadcasted topics such as crop and pest management, climate change adaptation strategies, gender equality, health and nutrition, and more. Emergency updates and support are also a broadcast topic of focus, inclusive of information on covid-19. To ensure that broadcasted information and available radio channels are community-sensitive, FARM researches the needs of the community before providing radio infrastructure. FARM then works with local stations to design suitable programs, provide broadcasters resources, offer technical innovations, and track the stations' engagement with listeners. In F2020, 71 partners aired FARM's radio programs and 31 radio projects were implemented.

Radio Resources: FARM's Radio Resources program made up 28% of program costs in F2020. This program provides local broadcasters resources such as scripts and training so they can produce and present relevant radio programs. In F2020, 225 individual radio broadcasters were trained, 75% of whom are women. FARM also provided 107 resources to 2,829 radio broadcasters in F2020. To improve radio infrastructure, FARM trained 79 radio stations on interactive radio aimed at promoting sustainable development.

Radio Innovation: This program accounts for 8% of program spending. Farm Radio develops innovative digital solutions and develops engaging new radio approaches to make radio more effective and interactive. FARM's Uliza tool, Swahili for “ask,” is its main innovation. It is used by Farm Radio to allow listeners to communicate with their radio station quickly and for free. By doing so, broadcasters can gauge their engagement with the audience to improve programming. In F2020, FARM facilitated 68,693 unique interactions between listeners and stations via Uliza. Uliza's newest extension, Uliza Log, can now analyze and provide feedback on broadcasters' programs.

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Results and Impact

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

Farm Radio International reports that 2.7m listeners improved their farming, health, and nutrition practices due to broadcasted material. FARM also reported that 5.4m people were provided with information critical in reducing food loss through improved farming. This work is important as FARM reports that in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of root crops, 50 percent of fruits and vegetables and 20 percent of cereals are lost before they hit the market. Furthermore, one of FARM's radio projects, "Livestock Health in East Africa," reached nearly 5m Tanzanians. Over 60% of these listeners started better livestock management after listening to the series.

Many internally and externally-conducted outcome evaluations have been done on the efficacy of FARM Radio's projects improving knowledge in farmers. For example, 40 weeks of programming on climate resilience in Ghana saw a reported 78 percent of listeners use at least one new adaptive technique on their farms. Of these receptive listeners, 68 percent used at least three new practices (F2019). Another example is that 430k farmers in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda began to grow orange sweet potato following radio programs designed to educate farmers on the benefits of growing this nutritional crop.

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of FARM's results.

A Charity Intelligence 2021 Top 10 International Aid Impact Charity

Impact Rating: High

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Farm Radio International had Canadian donations of $1.7m and international donations of $3.4m in F2020. Both Canadian and international donations largely came from government or development-affiliated agencies. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues and fundraising costs are 24% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 70 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $943k can cover 2 months of annual 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 8, 2021 by Rachel Leteta. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.3%8.3%10.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 23.8%13.3%11.7%
Total overhead spending 30.0%21.6%21.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 16.3%36.2%41.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 1,7472,8792,667
International donations 3,3532,2351,405
Government funding 1,4901,072958
Other income 11012674
Total revenues 6,7006,3135,105
Program costs - International 3,0353,1032,372
Program costs - Canada 2,7512,2341,790
Administrative costs 419522509
Fundraising costs 415384312
Total spending 6,6206,2434,983
Cash flow from operations 8070122
Capital spending (5)430
Funding reserves 9431,9311,734

Note: Ci reported international and Canadian program costs as broken down in the notes of the audited financial statements. Grants details from the F2018, F2019, and F2020 financial statements were used to properly allocate Canadian versus international donations. Ci reported Other Project Grants in Canadian donations and re-allocated government funding. Other Project Grants include $1.7m in donations in F2020, $2.5m in F2019, and $2.4m in F2018. Government funding includes amounts from Global Affairs Canada and International Development Research Centre. The number of full-time staff refers to Canadian staff only. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 29

Avg. compensation: $64,492

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Learn more about Farm Radio International through the following videos:

Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001