Tag Archives: interaction

Partners Meeting


Last week, Shamba Shape Up held a meeting with all our partn​ers for Series 5 and​ Series 6 to learn a bit more about the show, the behind the scenes work that goes into it, and take ​a tentative look at the results from the series aired so far.

The day, which had several of our biggest partners present, was a huge success, with partners learning that there is so much more to Shamba Shape Up than just the show!


Anne Marie, the S​eries P​roducer, shared​ details about the show’s audience ​reach​, ​which has stayed fairly steady, despite the change over from analogue to digital in Kenya​, and which for the first time extends into Tanzania and Uganda​, alongside the audience demographics, participation, how ​the SMS database works​ and the show’s large social media following.

Anne Marie’s presentation is available here.

After, Rachel and Ann came up to discuss our newest service, iShamba. iShamba. A mobile information service for farmers.​ With hundreds of ​new-subscribers every week, Rachel let partners know some of the opportunities for their further involvement. She touched specifically on Mea Fertiliser’s success, which you can read about in last week’s blog post here.


After the presentations were over, partners were invited to meet with the staff who create the show, and work behind the scenes.

Tables were set up with the show’s editors who explained​ the process of how the film shot on location is taken and then ​edited down to make an episode. Mark, our graphic designer was also on hand to explain how pictures are added to the film to make information easier to understand.


Serro, the Head of Sound and Radio, was also available to explain how popular the new Shamba Shape Up ​radio show has been, and how it is being reached by listeners across the whole of Kenya. It airs in Swahili on Citizen Radio at 9.30pm each week day and you can listen to archive recordings here.

SMS Service Manager, Mary, and Communications Officer, Katharine, worked together to show partners how the SMS service works and how best to use it to disseminate information to interested farmers. The SMS service was in particular demand as partners learnt how best they can reach farmers with the leaflet system. Katharine explained how the leaflets are made and how information can be given by partners to be added to the leaflets.

Katharine also explained the popularity of the show on social media – the Facebook page being one of the more popular agricultural pages in the region with over 45,000 likes. Partners were also interested to learn how Shamba Shape Up is on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn and, of course, our blog here.

The meeting ended in lunch, where partners got to discuss their segments within the show, as well as chat to other members of staff. Partners also were given the chance to practise playing ‘expert’ by taking to the front of the camera with the presenters and try their hand at being an expert on the show – something some took to more readily than others!​

The meeting ended in lunch, where partners had the opportunity to discuss their segments within the show, as well as chat to other members of staff.



#TalkSoil TweetChat Success!

On the 13th April 2015, Shamba Shape Up joined forces with CIAT, plus a whole host of experts (Syngenta, Soil Cares, One Acre Fund and YPARD) to discuss the problems African farmers are facing due to poor soil.

The International Year of Soils 2015 is helping to mobilise much-needed interest and action in global efforts to protect soils, a finite resource on which our lives depend.

But it is small scale farmers who suffer the effects of land degradation and poor soil health the most – and, as guardians of 80% of the world’s farmland, it is they who are most in need of affordable and practical solutions to protect their soil.

It was in light of this that CIAT and Shamba Shape Up teamed up to host a 1 hour Twitter Q&A on the theme of “Helping Farmers Build Healthier Soils”.

The chat attracted interest world-wide and lead to a lively and interactive discussion between experts and farmers. Many of the questions focused around how to solve the problems farmers were facing now, rather than looking to the future; a sign of how desperate the situation has already become.

Some in-depth research into the chat by CIAT led to some amazing results. With a reach of over 300,000 accounts, and an exposure of 3 million impressions the chat reached a huge number of people, many of whom may never have known about soil degradation and its effects.

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As well as this, the chat was made up of near 1,000 tweets from 186 contributors, all of whom gave interesting insights and ideas into how the future of soil can be changed.

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Shamba Shape Up benefitted particularly from the presence of many farmers who had heard about the chat via Facebook. They asked innovative questions; many of whom were keen to know how they could do a soil test, which was a topic on the most recent Shamba Shape Up episode.

The chat gave all of us something to think about for the future, especially as many of the organisations involved head to Berlin for International Soil Week 2015 conferences. We are so grateful to everyone that got involved and had the chance to #TalkSoil with us, and we thank you for your involvement.

Karibu Kwa iShamba!

ishamba advert

Kenyans love their mobile phones. We also know that farmers love Shamba Shape Up and often want more information after the programme has aired….so introducing iShamba, a mobile agriculture product designed to support farmers across Kenya.

By SMS-ing ‘JOIN’ to 21606  (Kenya only) a farmer will be subscribed to the service (they get a month free to see if they like it!). An active membership means they can call the call centre on 0711082606 or SMS any farming question to 21606 and one of our agricultural or veterinarian experts will respond. In addition we send them weather forecasts, market prices and tips on how to get the most from their farm, local to their region and in tune with their crop calendar.

We’ve been live for about 2 weeks now, and it has been really interesting to see how farmers use the service. For example, SMS is much more popular than phone call! And we’ve noticed that once a farmer receives a response from us they start to send more SMS questions in a full stream – every question they’ve ever wanted to know about dairy cattle, for example! See below for more from our iShamba Vet, Dr Olewe:

This week a farmer in Turbo sought to know how many times he is supposed to spray his cow to control ticks, the best acaricide to use, after how long should he be deworming his cow. After giving birth how long should he wait to inseminate or service his cow for next in calf. How many years should he keep dairy cow…. I got a chance to speak to him to talk through his queries. I advised to spray weekly, noting that this varies with the production system in use and we discussed good management practices so the farmer will be able to serve the heifer between 15-18 months.

Now that the rains are here we’re expecting more calls around mastitis and pneumonia in particular. I’m looking forward to helping farmers on a larger scale than I was able to in the field.

If you’d like to learn more about iShamba go to our facebook / twitter / website or watch this promo video.

Creating Shamba Shape Up Leaflets

Ever since the creation of Shamba Shape Up over 4 years ago, we have always had our SMS database, which is used to send out thousands of informational leaflets to fans and farmers who are in need of a little bit of extra help, after the show is over.

The leaflets, which are full of information from the episode as well as other pieces of information that may be of use to the reader, are sent out after each episode completely for free. Instead of spamming our viewers with information, we believe that if people are interested enough to ask for them, then we will provide. The leaflets are 4 pages long, and cover content that has been on the show. The leaflets can be found both online on our website (www.shambashapeup.com) or can be requested via SMS. The SMS system is simple; viewers send an SMS with their name, address & their subject of interest (eg. Lucy’s farm, chickens, cows, IR maize) to 30606. Once we have received their SMS, we post to them the relevant information for free.

Sometimes farmers SMS us asking a question. As a media company with only a limited number of agricultural based staff, we get the help of our sponsors to answer these questions. Each of our sponsors has a log in key to our database and can access it at any point. They can log in and answer questions that we have ‘tagged’ them in. This provides a great link between farmers and our sponsors, often allowing farmers to get the information they need quickly and effectively, while also being completely  personalised.

The leaflets are designed in house by a team of agricultural experts and designers and printed in a nearby printing house. The leaflets are then sorted within the Shamba Shape Up office, with the addresses added and then posted out in the thousands across all of Kenya.

Designing the leaflet can be interesting – deciding what content to add in, how to add content in an easy to understand way and choosing which pictures and diagrams will best aid the words. It is important when writing the leaflets to keep in mind who the audience for the leaflets are – often farmers who find reading English difficult. For this reason, we keep the wording on the leaflets simple, with words no more than five letters long.

In the next series which starts in March 2015, we plan to branch out to Uganda and Tanzania and send out leaflets to these countries. Leaflets so far had only been sent out within Kenya due to postal issues, however we have plans to expand. Leaflets are now being created for Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with personalised information for the areas we are posting to. This means we will are now creating many more leaflets, and for the first time in Kiswahili (for Tanzania), to help farmers across East Africa get the information they need.

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How a farming reality show is transforming the lives of farmers | David Campbell | TEDxNairobi

Recently, David Campbell, Company Director of The Mediae Company (and producers of Shamba Shape Up) spoke at the TEDxNairobi discussion held on Food, Waste, Agriculture and Climate Change. Watch the below video to listen to David speak about Shamba Shape Up, and how it grew from humble beginnings to one of the Kenya’s biggest TV successes.

If you enjoyed the video, or felt you learnt more about the show, then please share with others who may be interested in it.

Shamba Shape Up Facebook Page Hits Record ‘Likes’!


The Shamba Shape Up Facebook page has reached a record 40,000 Facebook ‘likes’, making it one of the largest agriculture-based pages in the region.

The page, which can be seen here, has a wide readership from a variety of countries all over the world. With fans ‘liking’ and commenting on the page’s contents, as well as leaving comments on our wall, the page is at an all time high. Farmers can often be found engaging each other in debate or discussion, which allows farmers to share their knowledge with others with the same problems. The page is also a source of amusement for many, who share pictures of their farm, as well as themselves and their families working on it. At Shamba Shape Up we value the interactions that go on here greatly, as we learn more too.

Because of Facebook Insights, we are able to make judgements about the type of people who are coming to the page; with the results often being vey interesting. In terms of area, Kenya is obviously a top hit, with Tanzania and Uganda following soon after (after all, this is where the show is aired), however the countries after this come as more of a surprise… India, America Qatar, Pakistan, Germany?! We never could have guessed our fans were so international!

As well as geological diversity, we were interested by the information given about the age of our fans. With most of Facebook dominated by the youth, we were interested to learn that a large percentage (10%) of our fans were 65+, again proving our point that it is all farmers who are keen to learn, not just the youth.

We hope in the future that our Facebook page will continue to grow, and will help to support the fledgling iShamba call centre which is its final stages of production.