Grace lives outside of Kakamega town, in Kakamega county. Kakamega is located in Western Kenya and is famous for the Kakamega Forest, the only tropical rain forest in Kenya. It is a very good location for beekeeping due to the old growth trees in the forest and concentration of farms in the area, which provide bees with a variety of forage.
Grace is married and has four children. Her husband works as an electrician, while Grace runs a small business and farms their land. She has been farming for 3 years and farms maize and vegetables, does dairy farming, and also keeps dogs on her land. Grace was excited to start beekeeping because, as she says, “I love honey as medicine and when I use it on bread.”
This is Grace’s first loan with Kiva, and she plans to use the income generated by her hives to pay school fees for her children and to expand her business. Her hope for the future is to “build a good house and buy land.”
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.