Shamba Shape Up

Shamba Shape Up is Kenya’s first reality-style farming TV program guiding small-scale farmers on topics such as improved pest management, irrigation, cattle rearing, poultry keeping, financial education, and crop management techniques, in an engaging and educational way. It is accompanied by printed information leaflets and SMS information system.
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Year launched: 
2012
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
The Mediae Company
Primary Topic: 

Location Data

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Program Description: 

Shamba Shape Up (SSU) is a locally produced educational TV series that seeks to give small-scale farmers in East Africa the practical tools and knowledge they need to improve productivity and income on their farms ("shambas"). Focused on agricultural development, the series demonstrates that practical and accessible methods and approaches can bring about significant livelihood improvements on small farms, often at very low, or even no, cost. By visiting farms in different regions of Kenya and Uganda, the program addresses real, relevant issues and provides a local context for learning.

SSU is created by Mediae, an organization dedicated to improving the livelihoods of large audiences in Africa through the development of educational, entertaining, and effective media. Mediae coordinates all stages of SSU including, but not limited to, pre-production research, script writing, filming, and broadcasting, show publicity and promotional materials, supplementary educational materials, monitoring tools and evaluation.-

The series is delivered in partnership with 15 organizations (FAO, Technoserve, IFAD, CIP, CCAFS, ASARECA, AATF, AGRA, Coopers-K Brands, Unga Farm Care, Kenchic Ltd, Syngenta, Mea Fertilizers, Galvmed, EABL/EUCORD). The organizations vary from commercial to NGOs, local and international organizations and topic-specific to broader agricultural topics. Partners co-develop the program content, appear in the program, and provide their expertise to viewers after the episode has been broadcast. They also contribute financially.

In support of the TV series, Mediae operates an SMS system, through which the audience can SMS to receive free learning leaflets based on an episode or a particular agricultural topic. In addition, viewers can SMS specific agricultural questions to the Mediae team and partners. Active social media groups have also been established with close to 42,000 members. These members are able to develop peer-to-peer discussion beyond the TV program. An online portal engages learning and interaction beyond the TV series. Episodes are hosted on an online portal called the Africa Knowledge Zone, and it has potential to host other relevant educational material.

Research forms a key component of SSU. Usage is carefully monitored to understand which elements of the program are most useful and which elements raise productivity on farms. This is then used to inform future SSU content and approaches. The most recent research, which was commissioned by AECF and led by University of Reading, was conducted in 2014, the results of which can be found here.  

The program is currently broadcast every weekend across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in both English and Swahili and receives approximately 9 million viewers each week.