Daniel lives in Kamukuywa, close to Kitale town. Kitale is located in the Trans-Nzoia district of western Kenya. It is located close to Uganda and Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano which straddles the two nations and even has a peak at the Kenya-Uganda border.
Founded by European settlers in the early 1900s, Kitale originally grew due to its proximity to the Ugandan railway, which has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years. The area around Kitale is filled with natural forests, and maintenance of tree cover by the area’s residents has helped both preserve the region’s soil and ensure that the area remains good for beekeeping. Kitale is the headquarters of the Kenya Seed Company, whose massive sunflower plantations provide nearby bees with a veritable buffet of high-quality forage.
Daniel is married and has ten children. Both he and his wife have been farming for twenty years, and are currently growing coffee, bananas, maize and bluegum trees on their land. He likes beekeeping because it is a source of income that is not labour-intensive, and likes Honey Care because they manufacture modern beehives.
This is Daniel’s first loan, and he plans to use the income generated by his beehives to pay school fees for his children as well as pay expenses for the everyday running of his home. When asked about his hopes for the future, Daniel said, “I want to do large-scale beekeeping, and I look at it as my retirement benefit scheme.”
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.