"Don't Lose the Plot" - East Africa's agriculture reality TV show launched

Youth agribusiness and entrepreneurship took center stage at the recent launch of the first ever competitive reality TV show focused on agriculture in Africa, 'Don't Lose the Plot'.  The show follows four young farmers from Kenya and Tanzania as they put their farming skills to the test. Supported by Feed the Future and the USAID, Don’t Lose the Plot is considered an edutainment show, which aims to inspire youth, both men and women, to take up agribusiness as a reliable livelihood.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec was on hand as the keynote speaker to help kick-off the show and speak with aspiring and active youth agribusiness entrepreneurs from Kenya.

“For so many of Kenya and East Africa’s unemployed youth, agriculture presents a viable business opportunity to create a long-lasting livelihood,” said U.S. Ambassador Godec speaking at the launch event. “Don’t Lose the Plot is exactly the kind of investment that spurs innovation and delivers education in new and exciting ways, reaching new and different younger audiences.”

In Kenya the average age of a farmer in Kenya is 61. In a country where nearly 75% of the total population is below 35, youth unemployment in Kenya has remained at nearly 20% for the last 10 years. In Tanzania, agriculture contributes nearly 26%of GDP and employs 75% of the labor force. While women contribute most to the agriculture value chain in Tanzania, representing more than 75% of the agricultural labor, they are least involved in household decision-making and have little say in how the fruits of their labor are spent.

Don’t Lose the Plot seeks to address these challenges by making “agriculture cool again” and reaching youth across East Africa. For youth in East Africa these challenges present a great opportunity to strengthen economic growth and nutritional gains in East African communities, as well as confront the alarming youth unemployment predicament.

Tim Chesire the Managing Director of Indicus Dairy Group and Marion Moon the Managing Director of Wanda Organics, respond to questions from youth entrepreneurs during a panel discussion session at the launch of Don’t Lose the Plot. Credit: Hellen Githakwa

In addition to the Ambassador’s remarks the launch featured remarks from the show’s production and development partners, including the show’s production company Mediae, Mercy Corps’ Agrifin Accelerate program, and Africa Lead. The press event launch was followed by an engaging youth agribusiness panel which starred two highly accomplished youthful agribusiness enthusiasts, Tim Chesire of Indicus Dairy and Marion Moon of Wanda Organics. The duo was instrumental in stirring an agribusiness conversation among the youth attendants who were curious to find out what challenges a youth agri-preneurs face and how to address the said challenges.

About the Show

Don’t Lose the Plot is a first of its kind competition reality TV show on the continent of Africa. The show follows four young farmers from Kenya and Tanzania as they put their farming skills to the test and battle it out to win the final prize worth USD $10,000 (Kshs 1 million). “Don’t Lose the Plot” is produced by Mediae, the creators of the popular TV series “Shamba Shape Up” and “Makutano Junction” and is broadcast in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Don’t Lose the Plot is part of USAID Kenya and East Africa Mission’s regional activities aimed at inspiring youth agribusiness entrepreneurship. Additional public and private sector partner support was leveraged in producing the show including input from Mercy Corps’ Agrifin Accelerate Program and private sector companies CropNnuts, Osho Chemical Industries Ltd., Mavuno Fertilizer, Sunculture, Kenchic, CKL, and RoyalSeed.

Don’t Lose the Plot airs in Kenya on Citizen TV every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Swahili and every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in English. The first episode aired in English on May 4, 2017, and premiered in Swahili on Sunday April 30. On Sunday, May 7th, the first episode aired on ITV in Tanzania and will begin broadcasting soon in Uganda on Urban TV. Don’t Lose the Plot will be broadcast for 13 episodes.

Catch up on the episodes you’ve missed, resources and tips, and updates from the show’s participants on the show’s website http://dontlosetheplot.tv  Follow the show on Twitter @DLTPTV https://twitter.com/dltpTV