Mohamed lives near Kikoneni, in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast, near Tanzania. Inconsistent rains, especially recently, have made farming difficult, and the poverty rates in the county are above the Kenyan average. Beekeeping is somewhat new to Kwale, but the passion fruit farms and mangrove forests throughout the area provide excellent sources of nectar for bee colonies. Many farmers in the area have expressed excitement at the prospect of owning their own hives, and having a second source of income from their honey to help care for their families.
Mohamed, who runs a small business in town, is married to a teacher and has two children. A farmer for 15 years, he is currently growing mangoes on his land. He is interested in starting beekeeping because it will be a good source of income for his family, and his bees will also help pollinate his crops, leading to higher production.
This will be Mohamed’s first loan with Kiva, and he plans to use the income generated by his beehives to increase the stock in his business.
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.