Rosemary lives on a farm outside of Kakamega town, in Kakamega county. Kakamega county is located in Western Kenya, and is famous for having the only tropical rain forest in the country. Most farmers in Kakamega grow maize, but sugarcane, papaya, bananas and tea are also popular crops. The variety of crops grown in the region, as well as the abundance of vegetation in the old growth forest, make Kakamega particularly attractive for beekeeping.
Rosemary is widowed and has six children. She has been farming for forty five years, and is currently growing maize, vegetables and sugarcane on her land. She is excited to become a beekeeper because, as she says, “I love honey as medicine.”
This is Rosemary’s first loan with Kiva, and she plans to invest the income from her hives into her farming activities. When asked about her hopes for the future, Rosemary replied “I don’t want to be poor.”
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.