Teresa lives and works outside of Kitale town. Kitale is located in the Trans-Nzoia district of western Kenya, and at over 6,300 feet above sea level, is one of Africa’s most elevated towns. The rich soil of the area makes it one of the nation's biggest maize producing regions, lending it the nickname of “the breadbasket of Kenya.” Many farmers in the region have started projects planting bluegum trees on their land, which complement the region’s natural forests and provide bees with a variety of food sources. The people around Kitale have been beekeeping for centuries, and the area is dense with strong bee colonies.
Teresa is married, and has three children. Her husband works as a doctor, while she farms their land. She has been farming for five years, and is currently growing maize, vegetables and bananas. She likes beekeeping because it requires little work and still produces returns.
This is Teresa’s first loan with Kiva, and she plans to use the income from her hives to “add another project like poultry rearing [to] my farm.” Her hope for the future is “to make my farm a model in agribusiness.”
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.