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Thomas lives on a farm outside of Kitale town. 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, sunflowers, sugar cane, millet, and beans. Kitale is located near Mount Elgon, East Africa's oldest and largest solitary extinct volcano. Its proximity to the dense Mount Elgon forest, as well as other neighboring forests, makes it a high-potential beekeeping region.
Thomas is married and has nine children. Both he and his wife farm their land, and are currently growing maize, sugarcane and bananas on their plot. Thomas is very grateful to Kiva lenders for allowing him access to capital for flexible repayment of his beehives, and is excited to start beekeeping because it is a good source of income.
This is Thomas’ first loan, and he plans to use the income generated by his beehives to educate his children. Thomas’ hope and dream for the future is to “continually improve my life.”
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.