Mishael lives in Sindo, a small town in Homa Bay County. Homa Bay county is located in southwestern Kenya, close to both the Tanzanian border and Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. Despite the proximity to the lake, water infrastructure in Homa Bay remains quite undeveloped, and inconsistent rains and occasional droughts make life difficult for farmers in the area. Nonetheless, farmers have adapted to these challenges, particularly by diversifying their crops to include cassava, sunflowers, sorghum, bananas, groundnuts and millet, as well as drought-resistant varieties of papaya and mangoes. Although beekeeping has not traditionally been practiced in the region, many individuals have expressed interest in keeping bees and are knowledgeable about their pollination benefits.
Mishael is married and has four children. Both he and his wife are farmers. They have been farming for four years now and they are currently growing mangoes, pawpaw, citrus fruits, avocado, maize, beans, millet and trees like croton (a deciduous tree, indigenous of Uganda). Mishael is excited about beekeeping as it will earn him extra income and provide him with honey for food.
This is Mishael’s first loan with Honey Care and he intends to use the proceeds from his beehives to pay school fees for his children and to buy more beehives. Mishael’s hope for the future is to have his children educated.
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.