In a year-long trial in Kenya, Makutano Junction responded to thousands of text messages each month from among the 6 million regular TV viewers requesting follow up information on development issues. Mediae - the programme's producers - have now developed a database and analysis system that is starting to reveal tangible impacts of the weekly shows:
In May 2008 an episode of Makutano Junction focused on simple Seed Soaking techniques that accelerate seed germination and improve crop yields.
Viewers who sent text messages after the show received an illustrated leaflet explaining the technique and principles of Seed Soaking in more detail.
Google maps coverage for Kenya enabled the plotting of all the request locations and revealed that the distribution of the Seed Soaking leaflets had reached all Kenyan provinces, and all the key agricultural areas.
Follow-up calls in August 2008 to random leaflet-recipients revealed that 57% had already tried Seed Soaking for themselves using the information they had seen on TV and received in the leaflet. 95% of these said they had learned something new. Of the 43% who had not yet tried Seed Soaking, 20% said they were still preparing to do so, 26% said they were waiting for the rains before planting, 40% said they lived in town and were planning to share the information with rural relatives, and only 14% said they were too busy. 94% of the leaflet recipients said they had shared the leaflet information with up to 5 other people.
This presentation documents the breakdown of responses to the Seed Soaking leaflets
MEDIAE. Makutano Junction’s focus on Seed Soaking research. (2008)