Kusema lives outside of Kwale town, in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast near the border of Tanzania. While beekeeping has not historically been a major activity in the region, the mangrove swamps closer to the coast and large passion fruit farms inland provide bees with robust sources of nectar. Though most farmers in the area are new to beekeeping, many are very enthusiastic about keeping bees.
Kusema has been farming for six years and is currently growing eucalyptus trees. He is excited to work with Honey Care Africa because he enjoys the training sessions and the chance to learn about beekeeping and he is happy to start beekeeping because it is a good source of income.
This is Kusema's first loan and he plans to use the income generated by his hives to start more tree plantations. Kusema is working very hard these days and for good reason: when asked about his hopes and dreams for the future, he said he intends to "raise funds to pay the dowry, so I can marry my girlfriend."
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.