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Kenya Nandi PRG
Farmer one



Nandi County 

Rift Valley, Kenya


Sireet OEP (Outgrowers Empowerment and Producer Company), the National

Organisation of Peer Educators (NOPE) and Twinings 

Project Funder:



04/2022 to 10/2023

Target Audience:

Tea smallholders and workers, particularly women, involved in

Twinings’ tea supply chain in Nandi County, Kenya

Radio Programme:

"Tugetab Kabotik ab Sireet OEP" ("The sound of farmers from Sireet OEP") on Kass FM 91.1

Project Summary:

Sireet OEP has 12,000 smallholder tea farmer members, of whom around 30% are women. Women make up the majority of the workforce in tea gardens; their work ranges from early plant care, to tea plucking, to carrying loads. Sireet OEP own and manage (with the support of Eastern Produce Kenya) Siret tea estate and factory in Nandi County in Kenya, where Twinings sources some of its tea. Empowering women in tea growing communities through health, protection and access to opportunities is a key focus area for Twinings and their Sourced with Care programme.


A community needs assessment led by Twinings with tea smallholders and workers in Nandi County showed that poor access to healthcare facilities and information was having a detrimental effect on women’s wellbeing as well as putting pressure on family finances. Since 2016, Twinings have been working with partners on health projects as a response to these findings, helping women to be healthier and also to live a more empowered life. This Farmers’ Voice Radio project used participatory radio to extend the reach of an existing peer health education programme, which was providing women tea workers and farmers with information on reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, pre- and post-natal care, nutrition, and non-communicable diseases.

The radio programme ‘Tugetab Kabotik ab Sireet OEP’ (‘The Sound of Sireet OEP Farmers’) was aired weekly on Kass FM 91.1 on Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 5.40pm to 6pm (one original and one repeat) between September 2022 and November 2023. All content focussed on three overarching objectives agreed by partners and farmer representatives in the start-up workshop, namely: 1) improving access to health information and positive health outcomes for smallholder tea farmers, particularly women; 2) addressing gender imbalances within households and communities; and 3) increasing knowledge and adoption of appropriate alternative income generating activities to reduce families’ dependence on tea.

Partners undertook the following activities deliver the FVR programme:

  • Formative research with 60 Sireet OEP tea farmer members to inform decision-making about the radio station partner, broadcast schedule and listener feedback system. Kass FM was reported to be the most listened to Kalenjin-language radio station by respondents.

  • Selection of 12 Programme Reference Group (PRG) members, one man and one woman from each of the six Sireet OEP zones, following criteria agreed by project stakeholders.

  • Selection of two Radio Champions from each zone to run communal listening sessions and act as intermediaries for listener feedback. PRG members also doubled as Radio Champions. These 18 weekly communal listening sessions were each attended by an average of 14 farmers.

  • Training and planning workshop with 28 participants representing NOPE, Sireet OEP (farmer, staff and leadership), Kass FM, Twinings, Kenya Tea Development Agency, and the local Ministries of Health and Agriculture. During the workshop, participants were trained on the FVR approach and methodology, and worked together to agree objectives and develop a draft content plan for the radio programme series.

  • Baseline and endline surveys with 188 Sireet OEP farmer members (102 men and 86 women) focussed on knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to health, gender and livelihoods.

  • Monthly cycle of PRG meetings comprising discussions between members on four topics selected from the radio programme content plan with additional input from by subject experts from NOPE, Sireet OEP and the local Ministries of Health and Agriculture. The discussions were facilitated and recorded by Kass FM presenters, edited to around 20 minutes in length, and broadcast as individual weekly episodes over the following month.

  • Broadcast of 56 individual programme episodes, each focussing on a different topic from the content plan, including malaria, tea pruning, nutrition, fertiliser application, family planning, kitchen gardening, women’s leadership, financial management, mental health, gender-based violence, beekeeping, climate change, child labour, diabetes, weed control, HIV and Aids, poultry rearing, pest and diseases, tuberculosis and farm planning. Each episode was also uploaded to a YouTube channel and circulated to farmers via WhatsApp and Facebook.

  • Listener participation through questions and comments, submitted either directly to the radio station via SMS and Facebook, or indirectly via Radio Champions. These contributions were responded to in bi-monthly question-and-answer episodes featuring relevant subject experts


From the survey data, it is estimated that the programme reached a regular listenership of at least 16,000 smallholder tea farmers in the region – however, the actual figure is likely to be higher than this.


The endline survey also points to the following positive impacts on listeners:

  • Improvements in knowledge and practice around healthy eating – at the end of the project, 82% of women and 77% of men could name 3 or more categories of healthy food (increase from 22%), while 77% of women and 79% of men had consumed at least 3 of those categories in the last 24 hours (increased from 18% and 30% respectively).

  • Increase in awareness of different family planning methods, as well as in their use – 40% uplift in the percentage of men and women who could name at least three family planning methods and an increase in male condom usage from 20% to 51%.

  • Shift in attitudes towards gender roles – while at baseline 40% of men and 32% of women believed that ‘more rights for women mean that men lose out’, this decreased to 4% and 3% respectively at endline. The proportion of respondents who agreed that ‘women are mothers and wives first and earning money comes second’ halved, from over 50% to around 27% for both men and women. Over half of women and men also said that applying the knowledge learned from the programme had resulted in a more equal distribution of household and farming tasks, and more joint decision-making in the household.

  • Increase in knowledge of good tea production practices, for example the ideal length of a plucking round, the correct timing for fertilise application and how and why to prune effectively. The proportion of farmers implementing at least five recommended climate smart agricultural practices ‘regularly’ increased from 30% to 55%. In particular, this included increased adoption of mulching, manure/compost application, organic pest and disease control and intercropping.

  • Increased engagement in supplementary agricultural or livestock activities for either consumption or sale – 30% increase in the proportion of farmers undertaking kitchen gardening, with a similar increase in avocado production and poultry and dairy farming. Survey respondents owning more than one cow increased from 68% to 80%, and those owning more than five poultry increased from 54% to 70%.























Susan Bett was a Programme Reference Group member and Radio Champion for the Tugetab Kabotik ab Sireet OEP radio programme. A 39-year-old longstanding member of Sireet OEP, Susan farms five acres of land around her home in Chimomo, Nandi Hills. Tea is her main source of livelihood; however, she also grows maize, potatoes, local vegetables and keeps dairy cows, sheep and poultry.

Susan talks positively about her involvement with the radio programme and how it has benefited her. She has learned new agronomic practices that will help increase her tea productivity – for example, she used to allow neighbours to take away the tea prunings, but now she leaves these on the field as a mulch, to add organic matter to the soil, retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Discussions about dairy farming prompted the family to move from free range to zero-grazing, leading to higher yields. Milk production from a single cow has increased from two to twelve litres per day, of which Susan now sells ten litres. As a result, the family has been able to purchase an additional cow. The manure from the zero-grazing unit has also benefited their vegetable farming, which in turn has improved their diet. Using the knowledge on nutrition gained from the radio programme, the family now eats a range of vegetables and reserve enough eggs and milk for their own consumption.


Because of the increased income, and encouraged by the radio programme discussions about joint planning and control within the household, Susan’s husband gifted her some tea bushes from which she can get cash. Susan has found that it is now much easier to talk openly to her husband about family planning – previously a taboo subject. Both changes have enhanced Susan’s decision-making power and access to financial resources within the home.


Susan is proud of the contribution that she has made to her local community through her leadership roles as Programme Reference Group member and Radio Champion. Her fellow farmers have benefited from the programme through improved tea production practices and enterprise diversification. 


There has also been a significant shift in gender attitudes and roles in the community: reports of gender-based violence within families have reduced; workload sharing has improved, especially with the growth in micro-enterprises; and many men have begun to hand over tea bushes and accounts to their wives as a means of economic empowerment and increased decision-making.

Susan Bett.jpg
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