Ruth lives in a small town outside of Sagalato, 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.
Ruth is married and has five children. Both she and her husband have been farming for 23 years and are currently tending to an orange grove on their land. Ruth is excited to start working with Honey Care because they offer good training, and she is looking forward to having her beehives produce honey as this will give her another source of income.
This is Ruth’s first loan, and she plans to use the income generated by her beehives to make improvements to her farmhouse. In the future, Ruth hopes to save up enough money to build a new house for herself and her family.
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.