THE INFLUENCE OF TELEVISION IN PROMOTING AGRIBUSINESS TO THE YOUTH IN KENYA: A CASE STUDY OF SHAMBA SHAPE UP ON CITIZEN TELEVISION

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ABSTRACT
Young people form the bulk of the unemployed in Kenya yet; the country has the largest, most diversified economy that earns more than a quarter of her gross domestic product from the agriculture sector. The youth are a great resource to the government‟s development strategy. The development of the country is hinged on creating and increasing employment opportunities for the youth along the agricultural value chain. The study used Shamba Shape Up on Citizen TV as an illustrative case to analyse the influence of television in promoting agribusiness to the youth in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research design and used Audience Based Theory, Innovation Diffusion Theory and Human Capital theoretical frameworks to examine the interaction between television and youth. The study found out that the influence of television in promotion of agribusiness to the youth is not clear. This was evidenced by a significant proportion of youth who were not persuaded by television to engage in agribusiness and a significant proportion of others whose perception of agriculture as a venture for the old was changed by television. The study also found that youth who watched Shamba Shape Up and those who did not watch the programme faced similar challenges and these included informational gaps, inadequate access to agribusiness finance, lack of pieces of land to practice agribusiness on large scale and extreme weather conditions. The study also found out that perhaps both radio and television when used concurrently could achieve great results in promoting agribusiness as evidenced by a significant proportion of youth who have access to radio and a significant proportion of others who accesses agribusiness information on television medium. This study therefore recommends that producers of Shamba Shape Up should have a multi-pronged communications approach that provides market linkages for farm produce, outreach and networking opportunities for youth with financial service providers and the government in order to holistically promote agribusiness. The study concludes that the influence of television in promoting agribusiness to the youth in Kenya, a case of Shamba Shape Up on Citizen TV is inconclusive. However, televisions‟ engagement with the youth should move beyond passing agribusiness information to addressing the gaps and challenges faced by young people and igniting a wider discussion among the agriculture value chain market actors.

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