Zambia's first farming reality TV show launched by national broadcaster

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The combined impacts of climate change, rising populations, scarce resources, and growing demand for food are undermining economic development and food security in Africa. To meet these multiple challenges, smallholder farmers, who dominate the agricultural sector, need to be geared up. However, lack of access to technologies, such as smartphones and the internet, is a barrier to spreading knowledge and awareness among them. Life TV holds the potential to bridge this gap by engaging a wider audience of farmers, market networks, and agribusinesses to enhance agricultural climate resilience for food security in Zambia.

The first reality TV show of its kind in Zambia, Munda Makeover, premiered on the Zambia National Broadcast Corporation (ZNBC) last November. The “farmer makeover show” targets smallholder farmers in Zambia to help scale out climate information services (CIS) and climate smart agriculture (CSA).

The program is facilitated by CGIAR initiatives and AICCRA and brings together the development, research, and commercial sectors to entertain and inform smallholders on CIS and 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 Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) and Ukama Ustawi initiatives, among other partners, and produced by Mediae.

Zambia’s Focus: Climate-smart agriculture

In Zambia, Munda Makeover focuses on climate-smart agriculture. The show will promote best farming practices for crop, tree, and livestock production and marketing; market information services and farmer cooperation; and enhance the consumption of nutritious foods and clean cooking practices that will help farmers adapt to climate change. The spotlight will also fall on the needs of the farming family, with particular attention to women’s role in farming.

Agri-business SMEs are promoted in the show as essential actors in a thriving agricultural ecosystem. SMEs provide farmers with cost-effective and well-packaged technologies, as well as the necessary services, to improve farms and mobilize their farming potential.

The objective is to increase farm productivity and profits while improving adaptation to climate change, with the overarching goal of delivering a climate-smart African future driven by science and innovation in agriculture.

How it’s done

Munda Makeover will travel all over Zambia, connecting with farmers facing diverse issues, helping resolve them through expert advice and by interaction with other farmers. Each episode is 26 minutes long, composed of four- to five-minute features, introductions, and short promos. During each episode, the presenter and experts visit a family farm to demonstrate practical solutions that can be useful to improve farming practices and make useful changes on the farm, as viewers watch on.

Photo credit: Agricomm, 2021

The program features problems and challenges faced by smallholder farmers on the ground while exploring a wide range of topics, solutions, and best practices that encourage agribusiness.

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, and 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 after 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, who are smallholder farmers. 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.

Watch Munda Makeover Series 1 on YouTube (ongoing)

Episode 4, aired December 18, 2022: Climate seeds, crop boosting, dairy, and insurance

More information:

Media contact: Ms Ngowenani Nohayi, Research Officer – Policy and Water Governance, IWMI South Africa (n.nohayi@cgiar.org Ext: +27-12-845-9100)

 

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