Better Globe Forestry Ltd (BGF) was incorporated in Kenya in 2004. It is part of The Better Globe Group from Norway, which focuses on the need to fight poverty by promoting massive tree-planting and sustainable agricultural programmes through microfinance schemes, educational programmes and water supply for rural communities. The company also publishes Miti, The Tree Business Magazine for Africa.
The mission of Better Globe Forestry Ltd is to make Kenya a greener, healthier and wealthier place in which to live, by focusing on the development of profitable, commercial tree plantations that will deliver environmental as well as humanitarian benefits.
Better Globe Forestry Ltd has a holistic and sustainable approach to solving desertification in Africa and is committed to extensive commercial tree-planting as part of its overall environmental and social mission.
The Better Globe Forestry Ltd's approach is holistic on account of four factors:
We realise that planting trees is caring about people.
We create jobs for local people, including a significant percentage of women.
We improve rural livelihoods through assistance in education and water supply.
We work in semi-arid lands that are not suitable for agricultural production.
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.