Joseph lives close to 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.
Joseph is married and has three children. His wife is a homemaker, while Joseph works as a mason. He and his wife have been farming for 10 years, and are currently growing maize, tending to an orchard, and raising livestock.
Joseph has wanted to become a beekeeper for some time, and wanted to thank Kiva lenders, as “they have made my wishes of having beehives in my farm come true.” He is also looking forward to the pollination benefits that the bees will give his crops.
This is Joseph’s first loan with Kiva, and he plans to use the income from his beehives to help educate his children. In the future, Joseph hopes “to have projects in my farm that will supplement my mason job.”
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.