Francis lives in Diani, a beachside 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: wild mangrove forest and local passion fruit plantations. Bee-keeping is relatively new to the area, but many farmers are very interested in owning hives.
Francis is unmarried, and has been farming for three years. He is currently tending to a tree plantation on his land, as well as passion fruit, and is interested in bee-keeping, because the bees will use the nectar from the trees to make their honey, thereby giving him another income stream until his trees mature. He also likes bee-keeping, because it increases the production of passion fruit, boosting yields and the quality of the fruit.
This is Francis’ first loan and in the future he hopes to establish his own honey business. He plans to use the income generated from his beehives to help pay his college fees.
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.