Ruth lives in Mwapala, a small town in Kwale county. Kwale county is located on the Kenyan coast near the border of Tanzania. While beekeeping has not historically been a major activity in the region, the mangrove swamps closer to the coast and large passion fruit farms inland provide bees with robust sources of nectar. Though most farmers in the area are new to beekeeping, many are very enthusiastic about keeping bees.
Ruth is single and has three children. She is a farmer. She has been farming for 15 years now, and she is currently growing mangoes in her farm. Ruth is excited about beekeeping as it will earn her some income from the sale of honey.
This is Ruth’s first loan with Honey Care, and she intends to use the proceeds from her beehives to establish a tree plantation. Ruth’s hope for the future is to establish a commercial apiary.
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.