About Us

Our Mission

To improve the productivity of subsistence and smallholder farmers in Africa,  by providing them with free access to expert, relevant, and practical agricultural advice.

Our Vision

  • Grassroots Africa will help reduce malnutrition in Africa through the improved farming productivity of local farmers and communities
  • Grassroots Africa will become the main agricultural reference point for farmers and their intermediaries across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Grassroots Africa will become the site to which governments and international agencies working in Africa will contract, to provide information services to their farmers.
  • Grassroots Africa will create thriving communities of practice, exchanging farming-related information between local and international sources of knowledge.

Our Values

Solidarity  - we listen to and work with farmers to meet their needs with empathy, not sympathy

Empowerment  - knowledge is power, and we will empower the farmer with greater knowledge

Equality  – we respect the farmer as much as the expert, and condemn exploitative practices

Collaboration – we work across organisation & national boundaries, cultures, languages and perspectives

Independence – placing of advertisements on our site does not imply any endorsement of their products

Our Activities

GRA  provides a website offering advice direct to African farmers, or via their more internet-literate intermediaries, in the form of both a discussion forum and a library of frequently asked questions (FAQs), taking inputs from a wide network of experts - primarily current Africa-based practitioners, but also others with field experience (e.g. current or former consultants/members of voluntary and statutory international organisations & research institutes).

This advice is provided as a common reference source, accessible to all who work with the farmers as well as the farmers themselves.  Subsistence farmers access it for free.  Larger commercial farmers and corporate bodies will be charged.  International development agencies are asked to subscribe for their agents/field staff.

To reduce the poverty of the farmers we wish to reach, the advice topics offered by GRA will expand over time, from topics that improve their agricultural productivity (i.e. to help grow and sell their produce), into topics supporting wider activities in their local communities - both on- and off-farm - that will increase their standard of living (e.g. from animal clinics to warehousing facilities, from transport service to water boreholes, from irrigation to domestic house building).

Initially launching as an English-language text-based advice service targeted at the East African farming community, it is envisaged that the service will evolve to cover other similar communities across Africa, and to include use of other media (e.g. mobile telephony, and use of visual imagery - such as pictures, animations, & videos - to convey advice).

Expansion will be controlled to avoid swamping the pool of experts available, but will accelerate as more FAQs are developed on the site and the range of experts increases.   During the pilot phase, promotion of GRA will initially be by word of mouth and personal contacts/introductions; GRA’s only advertising will be the existence of a Wikipedia page and the production of a quarterly newsletter to inform users of recent developments in the field and of GRA activities.   An initial launch event will be held when the pilot phase is complete, at an appropriate venue such as the Houses of Parliament, backed by a press release.  Subsequently GRA will advertise its services more widely, including through local newspapers (in English and other primary languages) and radio channels (in local languages).