Promotion of non-wood forestry products to incentive tree planting by farmers in Uganda.

Tree Resource Enterprises is a Ugandan based company that focuses on sensitizing, training & providing market for non-wood forestry products

Photo of Masolaki Ezra
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Ezela Masolaki

Initiative's representative date of birth

28/04/1987

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Uganda

Headquarters location: city

Mbale

Where are you making a difference?

Uganda-Eastern Region - Mbale (Mt. Elgon region)

Website or social media url(s)

https://web.facebook.com/Tree-Resource-Enterprises-Ltd-214879949270450/

Date Started

February 2018

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €1k - €10k

Organization Type

  • For-profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Ezra worked with farmers promoting Agroforestry practices in Mt.Elgon Region through the project of World Agro-forestry (ICRAF), where he was able to identify the challenges or factors deriving deforestation. Ezra identified that most farmers cut down young trees to derive livelihood from wood products like timber. Its upon this background that Ezra and Christine took the initiative to start Tree Resource Enterprises to promote and create market for non-wood products to incentive farmers to plant trees in Agroforestry system but also earn from the non-wood forestry value chain like tree seeds, fruits, juice, nuts, crisps,herbs, tea and others.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Uganda looses 3.5% (90,000 hectares) of her forestry cover annually due to deforestation. The derive for deforestation is the need for timber to raise livelihood, fuel-wood and space for Agriculture. 70% of forest lose occurs on farmers private lands as compared to 30% on Government reserve forests. Solving deforestation and encouraging restoration on privately own land through Agroforestry systems is key in addressing the problem of forest cover loss.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our vision is seeing a world where millions of farmers can protect and earn from the environment sustainably. Tree Resource Enterprises focuses on promoting non-wood forestry products value chain to incentivize tree planting for sustainable forestry management and livelihoods. Forestry Ecosystem is a home to a wide range biodiversity. Therefore tree planting through Agroforestry systems can help restore the biodiversity of animals, birds, micro-organisms, water, bees, insects as well as fungi.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The approach to promote Agroforestry came from the research from that highlighted that 70% of forest cover loss occurs from the private land ownership as compared to 30% on gazetted government forest land, hence incentivizing tree planting on private land is key to restoration. 1.We sensitize farmers about the opportunities within the non-wood forestry value chain and encourage tree planting for biodiversity restoration such as animals, bees, birds, insects and fungi. 2. We then train farmers on how they can harness the opportunities for example by training them on how to harvest and process tree seeds. 3. We plan to venture in the processing fruits as away of creating market for farmers products and incentive them to plant more trees

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

Tree Resource Enterprises already has collaborations (MOU) with NGOs and other companies such as Tree Adoption Uganda, Uganda Youth Biodiversity Network, Share an Opportunity Uganda, Mount Elgon Agroforestry Community growers and others to promote planting of fruit trees as an incentive for farmers to plant trees. We are also working with Butaleja community to restore 50 hectares of land by giving out tree seedlings at a subsidized price. We are supporting Tree Adoption Uganda Run for the Climate Campaign.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Business Outputs: 1. We have raised and sold over 200,000 tree seedlings of over 15 species since our start in 2018. 2. We collected and sold over 500kgs of tree seeds to over 6 NGOs Social Impact: 1. Have sensitized and trained over 1000 farmers on tree seed harvesting and processing 2. With collaboration with NGOs and communities, we have planted over 100,000 tree seedlings 3. Have trained over 20 women in tree nursery establishment and management as away of empowering them to have skills for livelihood.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

1. We plan to venture in the processing of non-wood forestry products like fruits by making crisps and juice as away of creating market for farmers primary products and motivate more farmers to plant trees. 2. We plan to create more collaborations with NGOs, Companies and government institutions on campaigns that encourage crowd fundraising to plant trees, invest in the development of non-wood forestry value chains and others. 3. We plan to scale our reach and production of more tree seedlings by opening branches in different locations and districts by 2024.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

1.We support fully tree planting along public places like roads, hospitals and schools, that can offer several opportunities for shed, food and climatic regulation. 2. We are open to empower youth and women with skills in tree nursery bed establishment and management for them to have a livelihood. 3. We offer direct employment to youth and women in the nursery activities

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

1. In the short-term we plan to raise our revenue from the sale of tree seeds, seedlings and consultancy in Nursery bed establishment and management as well as Agro-forestry. 2. In the Long-term, we plan to raise our revenue from the sale of tree seeds, seedlings, processed fruit products and consultancy services. Sales Revenue Growth; 2018-2019= $17,000 2020-2021 = $30,000 2022-2023 = $ 50,000 2024-2025= $ 80,000

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

1. Ezra Masolaki- CEO &Co-founder, Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Makerere with 3 years experience in Agroforestry 2. Christine Athieno- Operations Manager & Co-founder, experience of over 5 years in forestry products 3. Kemi Masikala- Marketing officer, Bachelors in Forestry Entrepreneurship from Makerere 4. Benard- Nursery Manager, Bachelors degree in procurement Future: We plan to bring on board a food scientist and an accountant

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. 1) OVERALL EVALUATION

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 100%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. 2) CONNECTION TO BIODIVERSITY

5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 0%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 66.7%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 33.3%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 66.7%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 66.7%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 0%

3- Maybe. - 66.7%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

6. 6) Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 66.7%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 33.3%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 66.7%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 0%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 50%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 50%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 50%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 50%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 100%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 50%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 50%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 50%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 50%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

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