Better Globe’s Mukau tree
Better Globe was founded with the vision to eradicate poverty and corruption, by planting as many trees as there are people on earth. In order to get there, we needed trees that thrive in desert areas, are fast growing and provide valuable and useful timber.
We initially tested several different types of trees, but none of them were good enough. Then our forest master, Jan Vandenabeele, who has a background in forest-related aid projects in different parts of the world, came up with a proposal for a tree variety that suited all our criteria; mukau (lat. Melia Volkensii). We immediately started the extensive process of developing, testing and refining the methods that have now made it possible for us to grow mukau trees on the large scale that we do today.
Mukau has grown wild in the areas where we now grow it, probably for thousands of years. During this time, it has adapted to meeting local challenges such as drought and insect attacks. It has traditionally been used for, among other things, roof racks and other supporting parts on houses, as it has such a high density (mahogany) that not even termites can enter. General deforestation, the desirable economic and practical value of the wood and the fact that the tree has difficulty reproducing itself in the wild without help, has made it increasingly rare.
For many years, before we entered the picture, research projects were conducted to save the threatened tree and enable commercial and non-commercial cultivation of it. We have done the work we have done to develop the successful method we now use and teach for the growth and cultivation of the mukau tree, in collaboration with many different actors. This includes the Forestry Ministry in Kenya and the University of Ghent. We are proud of the result and happy to have been involved in saving a tree variety that has been close to extinction and which also has such superb properties as the mukau tree has.
Although we cultivate several different types of trees, mukau is the backbone of our business today. When these trees have reached their production age after 20 years, we will already have built sawmills, factories and carpentry studios, that contribute to more jobs and greater tax revenue locally. This also means that we will have full control over the entire process; from seed to finished product.
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