News / Africa

Reality TV Show Helps Farmers Improve Livelihoods

Reality TV Show Helps Farmers Improve Livelihoodsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jill Craig
October 26, 2012 3:23 PM
Inspired by the popularity of American and British home makeover shows, a television producer in Kenya has created a farming reality show that is helping farmers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania do a better job. The program now has more than seven million viewers. Jill Craig has more for VOA from Nairobi
Jill Craig
— Inspired by the popularity of American and British home makeover shows, a television producer in Kenya has created a farming reality show that is helping farmers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania do a better job.  The program now has more than seven million viewers. 

Entertaining, educating audiences

David Campbell has lived in Kenya since 1979, using the mass media to teach farmers how to improve their techniques.  As director of the company Mediae, Campbell aims to both educate and entertain his audiences.

After learning that 70 percent of the viewers for his popular TV drama "Makutano Junction" came from rural areas, Campbell created a farm makeover show, called "Shamba Shape-Up."  He says that while research projects and development programs may help a small group of farmers, his unique programming has a much wider impact.  

“Here, we have a TV show that can reach seven or eight million people in the region, who are in the cash economy, who can participate in this kind of work.  And they’re not being reached.  And that’s why the underscore of this whole thing is that we need to reach people because development will happen when people know what they can do and how they can participate,” stated Campbell.

True to life TV

Each episode begins with a farmer explaining his or her agricultural problems to the program’s presenters and experts.  The team provides advice and assists the farmer with planting, harvesting, pest eradication, livestock care, and even financial literacy.  At the end of the show, viewers can send a text message to receive a leaflet about the information discussed during the episode.

Presenter Tony Njuguna says the show is providing valuable expertise to rural East Africans.  And he says that's evident when his team returns to see how things have been going.

“We find that most of them have developed.  They are no longer wherever they used to be.  They have moved up and it’s quite impressive,” said Njuguna.

George Karawe Mungai participated in the first season of "Shamba Shape-Up" and is now doing a follow-up episode.  He says the show has allowed him to increase his farm’s productivity.

Mungai has even become a bit of a celebrity.  He says when he travels around, people address him as “Shamba Shape-Up.”  And he says his neighbors are also benefiting from the show.

“I’ve become almost a teacher to the society that is surrounding.  They come here, they ask me questions, I am able to teach them on how to do things,” added Mungai.

"Shamba Shape-Up" highlights approximately 13 farms each series.  It is broadcast weekly in English and Kiswahili throughout Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid