Tag Archives: iShamba

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.



Mea Fertilizer Hits iShamba!

We know that iShamba is loved by farmers, we hear it every day. They appreciate having somewhere to ask those snagging farming questions, and having someone to call when they want advice on building their chicken sheds or how to get more milk from their cow, ​for example.
But now Mea Fertilizer love iShamba too! Recently​ we timed a series of SMS to farmers in areas where it was time to be top-dressing their soil, in conjunction with Mea Fertilizer. ​We let subscribers know the benefits of top-dressing, and then suggested Mea Fertiliser as a good choice.
It was a hit!
In fact we had so many calls from farmers wanting to know more about top-dressing that our call centre crashed for a short period (dont worry, it was up again in no time).
Top dressing is a great way to increase your yield. It helps your crops develop by providing the essential nutrients it needs to grow. This is especially valuable in the rainy season when existing nutrients can be washed away.  This is common in sandy loam soil; Mea 27% CAN is an excellent top dressing fertiliser solution for this.
If you’d like to get in touch with iShamba to discuss how your product could add value to a farmer’s life, contact ishamba@mediae.org.iShamba_04 sG

Creating A Flying Garden!

On the Shamba Shape Up Facebook page this week, we put up a post for those budding farmers amongst us who are desperate to grow, but don’t feel they have enough space to do it! How wrong they are…!

Do you live on a smaller shamba or in a town but still want to grow healthy and nutritious food for your family? Why not try growing your vegetables in a flying garden.

To make a flying garden, you need 4 posts, a polythene bag, tin and ballast (kokoto).

To make a flying garden:

1. Drive 4 wooden stakes into the ground in a 2-foot square shape
2. Wrap the polythene bag around the 4 stakes to make a skin or put a plastic bag between the stakes
3. Put a hollow tin in the middle of the bag on the ground
4. Mix manure and the topsoil and put between the tin and the polythene. Leave the inside tin completely empty.
6. Once you reach the top of the inside tin, remove it and fill hole with ballast/kokoto
7. Repeat this process until the whole polythene bag is filled with ballast tunnel in the middle
8. Make holes the size of 5 KSH coin inside the bag wall leaving 15 cm between each hole
9. Inside the holes you have made plant sukuma wiki/spinach seedlings and firm around the base
10. Pour water down the ballast tunnel- you need 20 liters (1 jerry can) of water every 2 days.

Day 1:

flying garden 1

Day 21:

flying garden 2

To learn more about making flying gardens, watch one of our episodes here.

And a big thanks to iShamba for all this great information!

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.