Phesto 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.
Phesto is married, and he has twelve children. His wife is a homemaker, while Phesto farms their land. He has been farming for no fewer than 68 years, and he is currently growing sugarcane and vegetables on his land. He likes beekeeping because “there is no hard work around it,” and it still produces income.
This is Phesto’s first loan with Kiva. He plans to use the income to “take care of my wife and I, as we are old.”
Phesto’s hope for the future is “for my children to live a good life.”
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.