Ernest lives in Kakamega county with his wife and six children. Kakamega county is located in Western Kenya, close to the Ugandan border. It contains the only tropical rain forest in Kenya, and the variety of the flora in the region makes it well-suited for beekeeping. It has one of the highest rural population densities in the world (in some areas, close to 600 people per square kilometer), which may contribute to the region's high poverty rates.
Ernest has been farming for more than 20 years, and is currently growing maize and beans, as well as cultivating tea plants. He is excited to work with Honey Care because he likes the way their hive technicians do hive inspections, and he enjoys beekeeping because "it is not time consuming and it is a well-paying business."
This is Ernest's first loan, and he hopes to use the proceeds to buy even more hives. His goal is to eventually grow his apiary to house 50 beehives. His hopes and dreams for the future are to be a successful farmer and to teach his grandchildren how to farm.
About Honey Care Africa
Honey Care Africa (HCA) is a for-profit social enterprise that trains smallholder farmers to become commercial honey producers and provides ongoing support for hive owners. Founded in Kenya in 2000, it is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization and aims to increase the income of rural farmers throughout East Africa.
Kiva lenders’ funds will help HCA make loans in the form of a certain number of beehives per family to jumpstart income. This new approach will simplify the process of hive purchase and honey production and will enable HCA to reach many more farmers. Farmers will repay the organization the same way they would for a typical loan.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.