Maingi lives in a small town in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast and borders Tanzania to the south. Inconsistent rainfalls make farming difficult and contribute to the area's high poverty rates. Despite the unreliable rainfall, bees in the region have two excellent sources of food from wild mangrove forest and local passion fruit plantations. Beekeeping is relatively new to the area but many farmers are very interested in owning hives.
Maingi is married and has twelve children. He has been farming for fifty-six years and is currently growing oranges and some passion fruit. He is very excited to start beekeeping because of the way that it complements his farming activities: bee pollination will increase the size of his passion fruit which will, in turn, result in higher earnings.
This is Maingi’s first loan and he plans to use the income generated from his hives to invest in equipment to help mechanize some of his farm’s operations. In the future, Maingi hopes to dig a well to help meet his domestic water needs.
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.