Farm Radio International

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Farm Radio International / Radios Rurales Internationales
Farm Radio International logo
Geographical target area
Abbreviation FRI
Formation May 1, 1979 by George Atkins
Type NGO
Purpose Rural development
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
  • Canada
Region served
Sub-Saharan Africa
Official language
English & French
Doug Ward
17 (according to annual report 2007/2008)

Farm Radio International, or Radios Rurales Internationales (official French name), is a Canadian non-profit organization based in Ottawa, Ontario. The organization works with radio broadcasters to improve food security and agricultural methods for smallholder farmers in African countries.[1][2][3][4]


The organization was founded in 1979 by George Atkins, journalist at CBC Radio, under the name Developing Countries Farm Radio Network (DCFRN). During a trip to Zambia in 1975, Mr. Atkins found that there was a lack of information about simple farming techniques for African smallholder farmers. Four years later a first script package was sent out to broadcasters and DCFRN was created.[5]

In 2008 the organization changed its name to Farm Radio International.


Farm Radio International, led in its daily work by executive director Kevin Perkins, is based in Ottawa, Ontario, but does also have staff in several African countries. Through its partner organization WUSC,[6] Farm Radio International received a 4 million USD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007 "to enhance the impact of radio broadcasting on food security in Africa".[7][8] The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is an important donor for Farm Radio International's other work. Farm Radio International has also developed Barza, a social network for African broadcasters.[9]


  1. ^ Spence, Julienne; Sarah Andrewes (June 1, 2002). "Spanning the globe: farm radio network connects millions in developing countries. (Farm Broadcast Update)". Agri Marketing. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  2. ^ Gutnick, David (January 2, 2009). "Farm Radio: Better journalists make for better farmers". CBC Radio. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  3. ^ "Thirty years of helping African farmers by radio". Manitoba Cooperator. May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-02. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Smith, Michael (1998-04-17). "Promoting Urban Farming over the Airwaves". IDRC Reports. Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ Farm Radio Network - History of the Network
  6. ^ World University Service of Canada - Our Partners
  7. ^ "Grant OPP45291 - World University Service of Canada". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. April 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  8. ^ Heartfield, Kate (October 23, 2007). "Farm radio". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  9. ^

External links[edit]