Forestry Investment – Investing in trees as a way to make profits, as well as retaining forests for people to enjoy, was attractive for Ugandan businessman, Ponsiano Besesa.
Besesa owned a large hotel in Kampala and sold it to invest in trees as a way to make more money. His plan was to launch a sustainable forestry programme, which would see money being made off the land while retaining the forests as habitat for wildlife and a “source of peace and joy” for local people.
At the time of his investment, the government wanted to give forestry land over to the growing of sugarcane but Besesa had other plans and went about setting up his forestry business that has now been his livelihood for 32 years.
Besesa says he made more money growing and selling trees than he would have in other businesses, stating, “I married, educated all my children up to University level, built a hotel which I later sold, built a house; all with income from the timber business.”
Besesa now has plantations of pine and eucalyptus all over Uganda and sells his timber after some seven to ten years for a good profit.