Beatrice lives in a small town outside of Kitale. Kitale is located in the Trans-Nzoia district of western Kenya. Originally dominated by English settlers in the early 20th century, the region’s farmland was redistributed after independence. This left Trans-Nzoia one of Kenya’s most cosmopolitan areas, with individuals from a variety of linguistic and ethnic groups living in close proximity. The lush soil of the region ensures that farmers can grow a variety of crops, including maize, sunflower, sugar cane, millet, and beans. Kitale is located near Mount Elgon, the oldest and largest solitary extinct volcano in East Africa. Its proximity to the dense Mount Elgon forest, as well as other neighboring forests, makes it a high-potential beekeeping region.
Beatrice is married, and has five children. Her husband works as a technician for the Nzoia Water Company, while she farms their land; she is currently growing maize, bananas and beans. She is excited to work with Honey Care because "they are professionals in the industry and I have no doubt in my mind that this project they have initiated will be successful." She is also interested in starting beekeeping because "I love honey and the money from honey will push me a long way."
This is Beatrice's first loan, and she plans to use the income generated by her hives to pay school fees for her five children. When asked about her hopes and dreams for the future, Beatrice said that she wishes "to have a stable income throughout life. I am looking at this business as my retirement benefit."
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.