Bonface lives in Kwale county, in southern Kenya. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast, near Tanzania. Inconsistent rains, especially recently, have made farming difficult, and the poverty rates in the county are above the Kenyan average.
Beekeeping is somewhat new to Kwale, but the passion fruit farms and mangrove forests throughout the area provide excellent sources of nectar for bee colonies. Many farmers in the area have expressed excitement at the prospect of owning their own hives and having a second source of income from their honey to help care for their families.
Bonface is married, and has six children. He has been farming for 25 years and is currently growing maize and mangoes on his land. He is excited to start beekeeping because the bees will help pollinate his crops, thereby increasing his production. He also likes the medicinal properties of honey and he hopes to use some of the honey produced by his hives for personal use.
This is Bonface’s first loan and he will use the income generated from his beehives to pay his children’s school fees. In the future, Bonface hopes to start a tree plantation on his land.
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.