Josephine lives in a small town in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast and borders Tanzania to the south. Inconsistent rainfall makes farming difficult and contributes to the area's high poverty rates. Despite the unreliable rainfall, bees in the region have two excellent sources of food -- wild mangrove forests and local passion fruit plantations. Beekeeping is relatively new to the area, but many farmers are very interested in owning hives.
Josephine is married and has two children. Her husband works as a poultry farmer, raising quail, while she tends to their home and raises their children. Josephine has been farming for nine years and is currently growing oranges and maize on their land. She is happy to start beekeeping because it will give her family honey to eat, which will help their health.
This is Josephine’s first loan with Kiva and she plans to use the income from her hives to expand the cultivated land on her farm.
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.