Beth 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: wild mangrove forests and local passion fruit plantations. Beekeeping is relatively new to the area, but many farmers are very interested in owning hives.
Beth is married and has three children. Both she and her husband farm, and they are currently growing mangoes and coconut on their land. She is looking forward to becoming a beekeeper for two main reasons: she wants a reliable source of honey for medicinal use, and she is also excited about the opportunity to learn about bees.
This is Beth’s first loan, and she plans to use the income generated by her beehives to start a tree nursery. In the future, Beth hopes to save up enough money to increase her apiary to house 20 beehives.
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.