Afforestation: a million dollar enterprise


I have a flair for languages but soon realized you communicate better using dollar, pounds and Euros.

No matter how well afforestation help the planet and how much if well done it would save us from calamity waiting to befall planet earth in terms of reducing natural disaster, it just don’t sink well in the mind of land owners and investors, who prefers talking bills.

I not too long ago managed a project where I was to advice an investor who bought a large expanse of land, though passionate about agriculture but more concerned about how fast he could recuperate his investment. The farmland is a dream heaven to every admirer of nature, with tall palm-kernel trees casting their shades along foot paths to a gully site with a stream of water constantly flowing in and heading downstream.

Even though deep down I knew preserving this beautiful natural scenery is good but faced with the challenge of making real money out of it. You would be glad to see what had become of the gully structure and the space between the trees along the footpath after the gentle touch on nature of a professional Agricultural Engineer.

In between the trees along the footpath now has makeshift poultry building with carefully rammed floor, the idea was for the droppings to seep and be of benefit to the trees and the trees in turn provide shade to building covered with asbestos, thereby making the ambient temperature in the building just perfect for the birds.

A ditch was made down slope to collect remnant droppings to ferment and breed maggot to supplement and fertilize a gully structure carefully turned into a spring water filled fish pond with a suitable spillway to allow waste water flow downstream while the water level in the pond is maintained. The palm oil mill was located far away from the poultry to reduce noise getting to the birds.

At the end the over ten thousand catfish capacity fish pond and a proposed self multiplying poultry building integrated into the plantation had not only saved the trees from a harsh excavation of a civil Engineer but also contribute to the trees growth.

The investment when weighed against building houses on the land to rent far outweighed it in terms of profit generated and jobs created to rural dwellers in the area.

We can combine growing trees and making money!

Photo: The author in front of the poulty building

Blogpost and photo by Musa Al-baruwa Ibrahim (Nigeria) – abmusa4real(at)


This post is entry nr #23 in our #WCA2014 blog competition. The five blogposts with the most and highest votes will receive a signed copy of the book “Trees for Life”. The most popular blogpost will get an iPad.


This blogpost received 15 votes, with an average score of 4.5 (out of a max of 5).

If you have questions or remarks on the project described in this post, please leave a comment below. Please also rate the other blogcompetition entries!

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2 People have left comments on this post

» sridhar said: { Feb 8, 2014 - 07:02:20 }

Rather i will say its a multi billion dollar enterprise

» Dr. R.P. Dwivedi, Principal Scientist, India said: { Feb 9, 2014 - 06:02:46 }

well done Musa Al-baruwa Ibrahim

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