In November 2006, Better Globe Forestry Ltd (BGF) started a pilot project for a first major tree plantation of 5,000 hectares in the area around Kiambere Dam on the Tana River. The land belongs to Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA). The area has a very high unemployment rate with over 65% of the people classified as among the absolute poor.
In the Kiambere drylands, BGF has planted Melia volkensii (mukau) for the tree's high-quality timber, which will be used to produce economically strong products. Trials have also been done with Azadirachta indica (neem) for bio pesticides, Jatropha curcas for bio-diesel and Acacia senegal for gum arabic. Jatropha was abandoned as further studies, based on our experience, cast a doubt on the profitability of this species when planted in drylands. Acacia senegal however, is very important for our second, and by far biggest, project.
In May 2008, Better Globe Forestry Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Sosoma Ranching Cooperative Society (SRS) for the industrial afforestation of 60,705 hectares of land with indigenous tree species. The document is further under-signed by the District Commissioner and the District Co-operative Officer, both representing the Kenya Government. The species targeted in this challenging area are Melia volkensii (mukau) and Acacia senegal. According to the plan, 100 hectares will be planted in 2015. The seeds for the setting-up of this initial trial are now being collected.
In May 2012, Better Globe Forestry and the Witu-Nyongoro Ranching Society signed a lease agreement according to which 21,500 hectares are being planted with mukau, mango trees, casuarinas for windbreaks and indigenous acacias for temporarily waterlogged areas.
All our projects are situated in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) and we will establish the processing industry for this raw material in the immediate surroundings of the plantations, creating more employment in the country side.
Better Globe Forestry Ltd, supported by top experts in agro-forestry, is also taking on consultancy, implementation and training services in different fields related to agro-forestry. For this purpose, the company has an established forestry and agricultural test and training centre in Kibwezi.