Rose lives and works outside of Kilimili, near 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, sunflower, sugar cane, millet, and beans. Kitale is located near Mount Elgon, East Africa's oldest and largest solitary extinct volcano, whose substantial forest cover makes Kitale a high-potential beekeeping region.
Rose is married, and has eleven children. Her husband works as a meteorologist, while Rose engages in projects on their land. She has been farming for thirty years, and is currently growing sorghum, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas, and maize, as well as tending to a plantation of indigenous and exotic trees and keeping dairy cattle. Rose is excited to start beekeeping because “its income will enable me to have capital for other activities on the farm.”
This is Rose’s first loan with Honey Care, and she hopes to use the income generated by her beehives to help educate her children. When asked about her dreams for the future, Rose replied “I love farming and dairy farming and hope to perfect it in the future.”
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.