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Status and Progress in Kenya
Published: September 28 2012 | Last updated: September 28 2012 | Share with others
Article written by: Rino Solberg | Edited by: Safeena Øvrevik
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Better Globe Newsletter

News from Better Globe Forestry in Kenya

Better Globe Forestry Ltd. has had a very hectic first 6 months of 2012. Running a forestry operation is a lot more than planting new trees. We have continued researching, ensuring that we conduct things correctly on a long term basis. We have to mulch, water, fertilize, prune, and monitor every tree we have planted. To do all this, we have many people employed; both full and part time. Management has good control of the company’s work and developments. All in all, the progress this year has been very satisfactory so far.

Here are some areas in which we have progressed, and there are much more planned before this year is finished:

Nyangoro contract signing for planting 10,000 hectares with mukau timber We finalized a lease agreement with the government through The Witu Nyongoro Ranching Society for planting 10,000 hectares (net area) with a timber species mukau (Melia volkensii). We also plan to plant 5,000 hectares of mango trees at the south side of the Nyongoro land. This will be an estimated one million mango trees, which are planned to be a cash crop for Better Globe for pay back to tree owners after the 5th year. The agreement is undersigned in name of the government and received the approval of all relevant authorities.

We have continuous research on tissue culture of Melia volkensii and progress is made every day with the cooperation and help from the Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Nairobi. Every year we have a laboratory student from Belgium visit and work with us in Kenya for about three months and test the theory into practice at our plantation.

Signing an MOU with ICRAF for sharing research results and publicizingWe also signed an MOU with ICRAF (The World Agroforestry Centre) for sharing research results and publicizing, which is the first time ever ICRAF has signed with a private company. This shows the level of seriousness and professionalism Better Globe Forestry is establishing in Kenya. Some basic research on the genetic improvement of Melia volkensii has been done with Kenyatta University in Nairobi and this work will continue.

This month is also critical as we received the final authorization of NEMA to commence drilling of a borehole in the buffer zone of Sosoma for the farming community of Mboti. It has taken a long time and gone through many phases, but this important work can start within the next month.

In addition, we will be setting up a village bank with the cooperation of the well-known Kenyan MF bank K-Rep for the benefit of the same community, and therefore start our long awaited "outgrower scheme," helping many families in this dry area. We have achieved good progress also with continuation of afforestation activities both in Nyongoro and Kiambere.

MITI magazineThe Survey of Sosoma ranch (60,000 hectares) has been a long, difficult, and costly case, but we finally have succeeded in finding the borderline and marking this huge land area onto a map.

We continue on publishing Miti magazine with the help and input of Kenyan, Ugandan, and Tanzanian forestry sector contributors. This Better Globe tree magazine has received a lot of recognition from foresters both in Africa and abroad and is a fantastic marketing tool for Better Globe.

We have now started developing a 5-year master plan for the Witu Nyongoro ranch. We think this will most likely be the main area for Better Globe processing plants in the years to come, due to short distance to the new planned harbor in Kenya and access to main roads and railway.

This year we have started research on inter cropping Mukau (Melia volkensii)/green grams agro forestry system together with Moi University in Nairobi. We believe this will also be a good cash crop for both Better Globe and the "outgrower" farmers around our plantations.

All in all, 2012 has been a good year with many exciting developments, and we hope you agree too.

Mukau trees in Kiambere