FADR is one of the oldest Russian non-governmental agricultural organizations. Its principal goal is to provide information support to Russian agriculture and facilitate the development of sustainable agriculture and agrarian transformation in Russia.
FADR has made considerable progress in the development of an independent federal system of information exchange, including more than 300 hundred partners in 59 regions of Russia. Partnerships with federal and regional government agencies provide FADR with an essential resource from which to receive official information. FADR specialists maintain contacts with experts at foreign and Russian universities and academic institutions, who are available to provide consultations on specific subjects in the field of FADR activities.
FADR is a pioneer in using Internet technologies to overcome the digital divide in Russian rural areas. The FADR Internet portal (www.fadr.msu.ru) is one of the most popular agricultural sites in Russia with total hits currently at over 6 million (000 000) per year. FADR is fostering the development of regional multi-media centers, combining Internet with traditional forms of information exchange - radio, central and regional mass-media, direct mail and training programs. In 2001 FADR together with 12 other professional radio institutions became a co-founder of the Consortium "Regional Network of Information Broadcasting" which aims to facilitate the development of local community radio in Russia. Regional partners organize the dissemination of information, delivered by FADR among their beneficiaries and study the information needs of organizations and rural residents. FADR partners rely on the feedback they receive from their clients, regarding it as an essential element in ensuring the quality of the information exchange system.
FADR provides support to numerous agricultural NGO's, including the Russian Grain Union, Russian Peasant's Party, Center for Citizens Initiatives, Extension Center for Farmers, and the East-West Women's Association. Many of these organizations receive free Internet access, host their servers and enjoy consultations on communication strategy. An important part of FADR activities lies in the area of information support for ecological education (www.ecocoop.ru, www.ecoscience.ru).
The information exchange system of FADR is integrated with international networks. It is a Russian national Rodale Institute's Regenerative Agriculture Resource Center (RARC), a member of the Network for Agricultural Policy for Counties With Economies in Transition (NAP), a partner of Developing Countries Canadian Farm Radio Network, and a Russian affiliated member of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE, etc).
FADR sees the process of reforming of the agrarian sector in Russia as a vital element in building a civil society. Partnership with federal and regional government agencies and legislative bodies allow FADR to participate in important decision making processes on natural resource management and land tenure. In 1996 FADR and the Agrarian Committee of the State Duma organized the International Conference on Land Management. In 1997 FADR and the regional government of Orel region held an International Conference on agrarian transformation. In 2001 FADR participated in the preparation of land tenure acts, providing an information platform for a broad public discussion.
FADR provides on-going training on new information technologies for Russian agriculture and agribusiness. The book "First steps on the Internet", published by FADR primarily for agricultural users was highly acknowledged. FADR is also a leader in distance learning technologies.