Michael lives and works close to 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 as 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.
Michael is married and has nine children. Both him and his wife are farmers, and they have been farming for fifteen years. They are currently growing indigenous vegetables, maize and sunflower as well as rearing cattle.
This is Michael’s first loan with Kiva, and this is how he plans to use the income generated by his hives: “for my upkeep as well as to buy more cows and fence my farm. All of my children have their own families, and I will also want my grandchildren to benefit from these funds.”
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.