In this final report of the year (2018) it’s time to take stock and look forward, and, to thank those who have helped us launch this venture. So first, a huge,
…to our first group of tree buyers for helping us get our first plantation of 50,000 trees funded and planted; a project not without challenges due to unpredictable weather events that are now becoming the norm due to climate change.
As you know Ventree is in the business of funding tree plantations but there is a broader story behind our mandate that makes what we are doing possible. And it is this:
We are part of a growing network of professionals and companies that have the same business and operational ethics that are essential to our success, providing the resources, expertise, connections and assets we need to succeed and that is the focus of this report.
We have a number of partners and relationships in our orbit in East Africa that we work closely with, and we in turn are valued by them for the service we provide. These symbiotic relationships are critical to our vision of rapidly expanding operations throughout East Africa and ultimately impact the entire planet to mitigate the effects of climate change and help guide humanity through what is shaping up to be the greatest challenge to the survival of our species.
As I write this I realize how grandios and seemingliy pretentious these claims are, and begs the question; is this a practical business plan? Planting trees, educating local populations on how to better use their natural resources and build a better life for their families is luadible, but how does this translate into transforming the ecosystems of the entire planet? All I can say is; everything has a beginning, and the source is always from a very small idea that has the potential for enormous change. There is no better metaphor than the tiny seedling that grows into an enromous tree that lives for hundreds of years and propogates in that time over vast areas of land to support myriads of eco-systems and sustains a multitude of wildlife and millions of people.
Our beginning is a plantation of 50,000 Lyra seedlings.
And we are not alone in this journey.
When the subject of Africa comes up in business discussions we often get stuck on the challenges, the difficulties and the plight of many of the people. But the reality is, that there is tremendous growth and opportunity, and, the economy is growing steadily and rapidly.
A few quick facts:
WIKIPEDIA: The economy of Uganda has great potential, and it appeared poised for rapid economic growth and development. … The economy grew since the 1990s. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average of 6.7% annually during the period 1990–2015.
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. AND…
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing more than one-third of the work force and 71.9% of GDP.
If you were going to grow “the tree” that would save the planet, this would be the most propitious place on earth to plant it. And this is why Ventree is not alone in this agro-forestry revolution and why we have the enthusiastic support, shared assets and resources of some of the most talented people in the world working out of Uganda and East Africa; professionals that span a number of business, science, economic and political disciplines with their collective epicentre on global sustainablilty through the application of agricultural ethics and sciences. They are all here pushing forward in the same direction–a powerful fraternity of companies and professionals of which we are greatfully a small but integral part. So who are these folks so essential to our mission?
A brief description and links (below) will have to be suffice for this writing but if you’d like to know more about any of these people and companies please connect with me and I’ll give you more detail. However, there is a new corporate entity that deserves more attention here named, Genterra Health Sciences, a company formed by an aggregation of the people and companies mentioned here that would meet the group’s combined need for R&D, international marketing & distribution, and wholesaling representation. Still in the business planning stage, Genterra’s current board of directors have existing supply chains to Europe and Asia and MOU’s to begin supplying customers in North America. GenTerra is the nexus of this network.
Now it may occur to you, as it did me, when reading through the background on these companies, and for me, having the pleasure of meeting these folks, that this is probably not a unique group of concerned, ehtically motivated people. And that’s a very heartening realisation, because I know now that there are many such companies and individuals throughout Africa and around the globe that have similar motivations, expertise and the drive to take on the challenges presented to humanity by global warming and climate change. And, this is not driven solely by humanism and certainly not by the misguided philanthropy that has been so distructive in the past (and sadly continues in some quarters) but by ethically sound business practices that are inclusive of all stakeholders. The above quoted economic indicators are evidence enough for those seeking opportunities of Brobdingnagian proportions. Entrepreneurs, nations and corporations with a vision for a sustainable future are realizing that in this era if you want to go big, go to Africa, but you had better mind your manners and check your greed at the door if you expect to succeed.
Here’s the list of our small but mighty cadre here in East Africa:
GenTerra Health Sciences:
No website yet. GTHS is focussed on these key initiatives:
- Agriculture: growing/sourcing superfoods for local and international markets
- Manufacturing: creating formulas to produce medicines and foods
- Distribution/Marketing: Selling products that are manufactured and sold into private and public sectors.
- R&D: Ensuring new products are grown, manufactured and distributed with scientifically proven data with respect to their attributes for human and animal health.
Priceless Farms: http://www.pricelessfarms.com
Ventree’s first farming partner and the location of our first plantation. Two of the partners in Priceless Farms are also directors in Ventree.
Doctor’s Choice: https://doctorschoice.africa
Founded by Canadian entrepreneur Brian Holmes, Doctor’s Choice is a private company established in Uganda to manufacture quality, affordable nutritional solutions. The company is licensed by the National Drug Authority (Uganda) to provide quality production of natural herbal medicines. Brian was instrumental in the initial formation of Genterra HS and is a director.
Roofings Group: http://www.roofingsgroup.com
Roofings is the largest steel manufacturer in East Africa and sposored the Forever Forestry CSR initaive developed by Aaron Elton (Co-founder of Priceless Farms). FF has a training centre and PermaCulture demonstration forest and seedling nursery for the benefit of local agricultural groups
AgriLiving: http://agriliving.co.za Agriliving is a multinational farming company with its origins from Israel and South Africa. For the past decade Krishna Murty, Partner, B&D and R&D has been working in Uganda to bring the Agriliving business model to the country and has successfully secured 800 hectares of land adjacent to one of the largest lakes in the country. Krishna is a director in Genterra.
EOSTRE Healing Teas: http://www.eostrehealth.com Dr. Jawiga Nowak ND, Founder and Head of Herbal Medicine, Research and Development for Eostre Brand of Herbal Products is also a partner in Genterra. EOSTRE creates Herbal Healing Teas with powerful health benefits as well as highest quality ingredients.
Econatur: http://econatur.net/?lang=en is a Spanish-based company also operating in Uganda under the direction of Mr. Rafael de Leon de Maria, now part of the management team for Genterra. Econatur seeks to increase the performance of crops through personalized technical advice, and the use of natural solutions with an efficiency superior to that of the products of chemical synthesis.
Stella Njaggi, SilvaNile Farms: Stella is a prolific entrepreneur and inspirational educator. Her career in farming started 10 years ago when she moved to Uganda and began influencing small farmers to grow the now famous SourSop fruit from the tree Annona Muricata. She is now the leading exporter of this fruit and estimates over 4 million trees within her network of over 5,000 farmers.
Raintree Farms Ltd http://raintreefarms.com …is an agricuetical company specializing in value-added processing of medicinal crops. The largest supplier of high-quality Moringa oleifera in Uganda. Their 30-acre farm is located in Masindi District, in North-Western Uganda.
UWEPO: Not an acronym, Uwepo is Swahili for “Presence”
Canadians Nick and Cheryl Koning have been working in Uganda for several years now. UWEPO is an agribusiness located close to the River Nile and Lake Victoria in Uganda, East Africa. UWEPO grows many types of high quality seedlings. Nick and Stella also have a farming operation near Priceless Farms and shares equipment and resources with Priceless Frams. ~
Well, this is the network thus far and it we will be expanding to include more like-minded people and organizations as we make connections throughout the region. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you so much for your interest and if you’d like to know more please don’t hesitate to connect with us.