Shamba means small farm in Swahili. Shamba Shape Up is Kenya’s first make-over style TV programme focusing on agriculture, produced by the Mediae Company based in Nairobi.
Targeting East Africa’s rapidly growing rural and peri-urban TV audience, the show outlines a series of agricultural challenges tackling issues of livestock, poultry, crops and soil fertility, pest management, irrigation and solar power, aiming to give farmers the tools to improve their productivity and income.
The Shape Up team and film crew visit a different farm each week in various areas of the country. Based on the needs of the farmers in the episode, an agricultural expert within Mediae Company involves a number of colleagues from partner organisations and research bodies, including the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), to guarantee that good quality agricultural advice is provided.
The TV programme includes interactive use of ICTs to make learning new agricultural techniques more accessible. At the end of each episode, viewers are encouraged to request additional information and follow updates and video clips on the Shamba Shape Up Facebook page. Those who send via SMS their name and address can receive a free leaflet on the topics covered in the show by email or post.
The first series was broadcast from March to June 2012 in Kenya to about 4 million people – 16,000 leaflets were sent out on request, and over 22,000 text messages were received. Surveys indicate that 40% of viewers have changed their farming practices as a consequence of the programme, and 91% reported they had had learnt something new. For the next series a larger broadcast is expected, covering about 6 millions more farmers in Uganda and Tanzania.
You can read the full story here and visit Shamba Shape Up website to watch all 13 episodes of the first series.