Titus lives on a farm outside of Kimilili, near 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 on the Kenya-Uganda border. Founded by European settlers in the early 1900s, Kitale originally grew due to its proximity to the Ugandan railway. 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.
Titus is married, and has one child. Both he and his wife work as farmers, and are currently growing avocadoes, maize and beans on their land, as well as tending to a blue gum tree plantation. Titus is excited to become a beekeeper because “honey is good for our health and [I] am proud to be part of its production.”
This is Titus’ first loan with Honey Care, and he plans to use the income generated by his beehives to start a small business.
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.