Mary lives and works near Cherengani, in the Kitale region. 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 made 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 it a high-potential beekeeping region.
Mary is married, and has nine children. Both she and her husband are farmers, and have been in this business for ten years. They are currently growing maize and vegetables on their land, as well as tending to dairy animals and raising poultry.
Mary is excited to become a beekeeper because she sees it as a profitable activity that also helps protect the environment. This is her’s first loan, and she plans to use the income to top up the funds she has for paying her children’s school fees.
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.