MARKUP Kenya’s Podcast Celebrates Milestones￼
The Mazao Talks Podcast, a podcast series by the EU-Funded Market Access Upgrade Programme, implemented by UNIDO has amassed a reach of over 12.7 million people, ranking as the 2nd Top Corporate Podcast in Kenya. Although MARKUP Kenya is implemented in 12 counties, the podcast series has gained listenership and visibility in Africa and beyond.
The initiative is a brainchild of MARKUP Kenya team, in a bid to reach out to the youth in this the digital era. ‘Mazao’ is a Kiswahili word which means produce. MARKUP Kenya aims to promote food safety, competitiveness and market access for Kenya’s produce locally, regionally and internationally. Specifically, MARKUP Kenya focuses on selected fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices.
With support from the EU, MARKUP Kenya launched the Mazao Talks podcast in October 2021, as a knowledge sharing platform for established and budding farmers to enable young farmers to make the most of the opportunities in agribusiness. So far 12 episodes addressing a variety of topics have been released.
“We are extremely excited about this opportunity to engage in this new way with Kenya’s young people and share research that we have built up at MARKUP with them. The future of this country relies on our ability to produce food at large scale and this is only possible by getting our youth engaged in agri-business” said Mr. Maina Karuiru, the National Programme Coordinator for MARKUP.
Mr. Karuiru adds, “Kenya’s youth have a great appetite for technology and innovation and in agri-business this can enable them to make a lot of money and create millions of jobs. And so, we hope that this podcast series can go a long way in showcasing this opportunity”
Creating More Reach
The podcast was promoted through sponsored posts that created a reach of well over 40,000 Instagram users between the ages of 25 and 40. There have also been online engagements through Twitter Spaces. During the roll-out phase, Mazao Talks hosted 5 Twitter Space conversations with the largest having a listenership of over 1500 people.
Mazao Talks is available on 5 podcast platforms including Anchor, Spotify, Google podcast, and via RSS. It has been listened to in 14 countries, with the website getting over 100 weekly visits. In December and February, Mazao Talks hosted 2 webinars on “The Future of Food” and “Muddy Milllions” respectively, which attracted over 200 participants.
Still Going on, Growing Strong
With Twitter Spaces being extremely engaging in generating conversations, the MARKUP team is keen on keeping them running for the entire length of the programme. Every episode is currently being distilled into an article piece which shall be posted on the Mazao Talks microsite, and submitted to mainstream media for increased coverage.
Supporting youth programs to promote agri-business development
SemaBOX, the production company behind Mazao Talks, developed a 12-episode podcast series on agri-food business development for the youth.
The podcast is geared towards addressing challenges and barriers-to-entry that the youth face in agri-food business. It also aims at shedding light on opportunities for the youth in MARKUP value chains, highlighting innovations developed by the youth in agriculture, telling stories of technological advancements and their application in agribusiness and advocating for conducive, youth-friendly policies.
“Podcasting is the future of media. It’s the best space to curate the important conversations and to have them easily distributed online to the people who you want to participate,” said Dan Aceda the Founder and CEO of SemaBOX.
The Mazao Talks Podcast has been featuring stories of ordinary people working in agri-business. Content contributions for the podcast has been from experienced farmers, budding farmers and agri-food experts with discussions revolving around business opportunities that are available in the farm produce value chain for the youth.
Partnership for Development
The success of this initiative is a result of immense effort and building synergies among different partners. These partners include; Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MALF), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), selected Counties, Exporting companies, among others.