Mariamu lives on a farm 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.
Mariamu is married, and has five children. Both her and her husband are farmers and have been farming for twenty-five years. They are currently tending to an orange orchard, which will be an excellent source of nectar for their bee colonies. Mariamu is excited to become a beekeeper because it will give her family a source of natural honey to eat.
This is Mariamu's first loan with Kiva, and she plans to use the income from her hives to pay her children's school fees. In the future, Mariamu hopes to save up enough money to build a new family house.
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.