Year in Review
It was an important year for Farm Radio International. First, we celebrated the organization’s 40th birthday! Four decades have passed since George Atkins, together with many partners, volunteers and backers, put together the first package of Farm Radio scripts and distributed it to 34 radio broadcasters in underserved communities. Much has changed since then, but the essence remains much the same — a conviction that ordinary farming families, no matter where they live, need and deserve relevant and reliable information that empowers them — and the best place for them to get it, in their own language, is on their own radio set.
While technology has changed, radio shows no signs of going away. Radio simply continues to offer too many benefits to be set aside, especially now as mobile phones — along with computer technology in radio stations — provide a dynamic, highly accessible tool for two-way dialogue facilitating highly effective learning and communication that can transform lives.
Secondly, we concluded our 2015-20 strategic plan, and crafted a new plan for the next five years. It was a highly participatory process, involving staff at all levels, in all countries of operation and our Board of Directors. Our new 2020-25 Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board in February 2020, is directed toward achieving measurable results under three Strategic Intentions. For more information on this plan, refer to page 18.
The end of our fiscal year will be remembered as the time that COVID-19 disrupted everything and threw so much of the progress the world had been making into reverse, affecting gains in health and nutrition, agricultural and poverty reduction. It was not the first disaster of the year as farmers also faced locust infestations, floods, and other fresh challenges to food security in many parts of Africa.
During the pandemic, we became very aware of how critically important radio is in times of emergency and as people cope with and adapt to major change. While COVID-19 quickly made the logistics of our work more challenging, the need for — and the urgency of — credible, reliable, and trustworthy radio programs and services became more obvious than ever.
We are grateful for the remarkable efforts of all Farm Radio staff, and volunteers, our partner radio stations and their broadcasters, and for the continuing and remarkable generosity of our donors. It is truly a collective effort bringing so many people together to ensure that both women and men farmers in Africa have the communication services they need and deserve.
- 13 million listeners
- 2.7 million listeners improved their practices
- 1,003 broadcasting partners
- 41 countries
Learn more about our work in 2019-2020 in this year’s annual report.