Leveraging live TV as a powerful medium, Munda Makeover addresses the challenges faced by Zambian smallholder farmers, in terms of climate change, food security, and limited resources by disseminating knowledge, promoting climate resilience, and fostering collaboration among farmers, market networks, and agribusinesses to ensure sustainable food security.
The first reality TV show of its kind in Zambia, Munda Makeover premiered on the Zambia National Broadcast Corporation (ZNBC) in November 2022 to take on the Impact Areas of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, and Nutrition, Health, and Food Security. The ground-breaking show offers solutions that are tailormade for the people of Zambia and their unrehearsed, real-life challenges across Zambia, which are then presented in each 26-minute-long episode.
The program is facilitated by CGIAR Initiatives and AICCRA and brings together the development, research, and commercial sectors to entertain and inform smallholders on climate information services (CIS) and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) solutions and practices available to them. The first season was co-funded by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Alliance for Bioversity-CIAT through the CGIAR Initiatives on Climate Resilience (ClimBeR) and Ukama Ustawi, among other partners, and produced by Mediae.
“The show is educational. Even without enough finances, you can still farm by following the shows’ examples, such as manure-making process. We have learned a lot of good things.” – Grace Mwinga, Farmer in Chibombo, Zambia
What further sets this “farm improvement show” apart is that it is largely unscripted. Smallholder farmers across Zambia share their problems, which exemplify the challenges of many. The show is set in the fields of smallholder farmers to help scale out CIS and CSA. During each episode, the presenters and experts visit a family plot to demonstrate solutions to improve farming practices and make meaningful changes on the farm, as viewers watch on.
The broadcast runs parallel to the main growing season, beginning with issues around soil testing, seed selection, and planting, then moving to pest and disease management, crop management, all the way to harvesting, reducing post-harvest losses, storage, and markets. Issues around livestock management, financial inclusion, nutrition, and modern cooking solutions run throughout the entire season. To improve farmer knowledge exchange and learning, group approaches and cooperatives are also featured.
Munda Makeover is modeled on Shamba Shape Up, East Africa’s leading farm makeover program, which was first launched in Kenya and Tanzania over a decade ago. Shamba Shape Up, which is delivered in English and Swahili, presently draws over 8 million viewers weekly. The show’s phenomenal growth demonstrates the vast appeal among its target audience. Munda Makeover’s expectation is to replicate Shamba Shape Up and draw wide appeal from farmers in Zambia, and target approximately 50% female audience members.
You can watch Munda Makeover Series 1 on YouTube.
- Munda Makeover episodes, aired from Nov. 27, 2022, to Jan. 15, 2023.
- Chilambe, P., Gichinga, P. and Girvetz, E. 2022. Shamba Shape Up. Innovation Packages and Scaling Readiness (IPSR) Innovation Profile. CGIAR, December 2022.
Header image: Farm improvement television show, Munda Makeover, breaks through Zambian market, reaching 3 million viewers a week. Photo by Agricomm