Tag Archives: research

#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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.18.26 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.27.10 AM

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.


Shamba Shape Up Hits Kenya’s Radios!

radio advert1

As the new series kicks off on TV in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, new developments are happening off the screen to, with the start of our brand new radio show!

The show, which runs on Kenyan station Citizen Radio and is in Swahili, is on every week day at 9.30pm for 7 minutes. Each episode is therefore split into 5 parts, playing every night Monday to Friday. The show has been solely sponsored by USAID.

The show follows a similar layout to the TV show, and in many places the audio has simply been lifted from the TV recordings, often with noises and sounds added under the voices to add realism to it – the odd clucking of a chicken or a cow mooing! Shamba Shape Up’s radio program visits a family each week, helping them to shape up their shamba and get more crops, milk, meat and eggs for the family.

The show was chosen to be recorded in Swahili, rather than English, to capture a larger rural audience. These people often do not have access to a more reliable electricity supply or a TV set, and therefore lack vital information to agricultural information. In a country where there is only 1 extension officer for every 1000 Kenyan citizen, getting reliable, up to date and effective information that will benefit your shamba is hard to find.

Radio Citizen has the highest national reach in Kenya, reaching nearly 9 million people each week, far more than any other radio station in the country, of which Kenya has many. When, between 1998 – 2002, the Moi government was constitutionally forced to relax their tight hold over state-led media and open up the airwaves to allow freedom of the media, a whole host of radio stations popped up, making it hard to get a large audience on one single station – it is for this reason that Mediae (the production company), and Shamba Shape Up have been wary of moving onto radio before.

Listeners of the show can still use the vastly popular SMS service run by Shamba Shape Up. Over the past 4 series of the show on TV, hundreds of thousands of SMS have been sent to our short code, 30606, for more information from the show for free.

All the episodes will be available online after broadcast, and can be listened to right here.

Tune in to learn more…

http://www.radiocitizen.co.ke or www.shambashapeup.com/Radio

A reality TV show with real impacts on farms

Filming Series 4

CCAFS have written a report highlighting the work Shamba Shape Up does and the results we are getting. For CCAFS, it’s an ideal opportunity to scale up communication and turn knowledge into action. Scientists involved in climate-smart agriculture research across CGIAR help develop the show’s content and are regularly featured in episodes.

CCAFS have measured impact by looking at our Facebook page, our Twitter, this blog, the leaflets and our most recent research which was led by AECF.

To read what CCAFS wrote, please have a look on their blog here or at the more general report here.

For ages agriculture in Africa was done the old way, but times are a changing…

spraying pic

Recently Mail & Guardian Africa wrote a report about Youth in Agriculture, and used a previous Shamba Shape Up farmer as an example of a young people choosing agriculture over the big city life.

The report, which focuses on Africa as a whole, but starts discussing Shamba Shape Up in particular, looks at the problems young farmers are facing in terms of markets, prices, information and land. In most African countries, the problems start the same way; youths are put off returning to the farm by the image that farming has acquired; dirty, ragged, underpaid and most of all, boring.

The article goes on to discuss the how African governments are supporting farmers, and when they fail, if there are NGO’s or organisations to help them instead.

The full report can be read here: http://cdn.mg.co.za/content/documents/2015/02/10/mgafrica-on-africas-farms.pdf

Or a smaller article: http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-02-11-for-ages-agriculture-in-africa-was-done-the-old-way-but-times-are-a-changing

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.

Africa’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Markets Set to Top US$ One Trillion in 2030 — World Bank Report

In a report by the World Bank, who awarded Shamba Shape Up it’s SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform’s 2013, has released a report stating that Africa’ has the potential to reach markets of over US$ one trillion by 2030.


Despite the massive amount that is stated, it is a figure that Shamba Shape Up thinks can be achieved after reading our recent research report from Reading University. The report stated that “The overall number of households specifically reporting that they had made changes to their maize or dairy practices as a result of the programme, or who reported that they had benefited from SSU through increased profit or improved household food situation, is statistically estimated to be 428,566. Households who reported making specific changes in their farming practices as a result of Shamba Shape Up are statistically estimated to be 218,562 households for maize and 65,063 for dairy. From these two enterprises, the statistically estimated net economic impact in the 25 counties was US$24,718,648; this comes mostly from dairy enterprises.”

This amazing statistic (and the method behind reaching it) can be found in the report on our website:


In layman’s terms, this means that statistically, due to the data collected and scaled up to the population of (mainly) dairy farmers in Kenya, the changes made by farmers who watch the show, led to an increase of US$24,718,648 to the value of the milk produced within the country.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 1.15.03 PM