Before Shamba Shape Up can start to film an episode for our new Series 5, which is starting in March, we must first go ‘scouting’ in the area we are hoping to film in. ‘Scouting’ is when we go to an area to look for a shamba (Swahili for ‘farm’) that fits the requirements for the episode.
‘Scouting’ can be both interesting, and frustrating. Before we leave from Nairobi, the Shamba Shape Up team and our sponsors for the episode discuss what we are hoping to film in the area. This could include larger theme topics, such as chickens, cows or soil, but also localised themes, such as Newcastle Disease (for chickens), how to build a zero grazing house (for cows) and which fertilisers to use (on your soil). Once we have these topics, we must find a shamba where we can find and film these topics. Often, 3 out of the 4 topics will be found on a shamba, yet without the final one, we cannot film here. These can cause for disappointment in farmers who are excited at the prospect of having their shamba shaped up!
In Homa Bay last week, we looked around several shambas before picking a young, orphaned farmer who is interested in increasing income via farming.
In Vihiga County, we went to check on a farmer from a previous series, who we visited last year. His shamba had become a hub for farmers looking for information and advice on farming, after coming a local Shamba Shape Up celebrity in the area. It is always great to see a farmer learn and take the advice and help we give them, and also use it to help their neighbours to do better also. The farmer had successfully sent his 5 children to school, and was interested in increasing his chicken flock after learning that chicken prices had soared during the Christmas time to over 2000ksh ($20) per bird!
Watch the episode where we visit the farmer in series 4: http://www.shambashapeup.com/viewepisode/99
We often visit farmers such as this in our re-visit episodes during the series, and they have some of most popular episode. Many of our viewers enjoy seeing how a small amount of change, money, research and hard work can produce huge results.
Watch one of our re-visit episodes from the last series: http://www.shambashapeup.com/viewepisode/110