Samson lives on a farm outside of 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 ensured 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.
Samson is married and has ten children. His wife works as a teacher, while Samson engages in projects around their land. He has been farming for 40 years and is currently growing maize and sunflower crops, as well as undertaking dairy farming. Samson is excited to start beekeeping because the bees will pollinate his crops, giving him increased yields and improved quality of produce.
This is Samson’s first loan and he plans to use the income generated by his beehives to educate his children. In the future, Samson’s dream is “to live a better life and have several sources of income from my farm.”
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.