Introduction to transcription of the interview with Simon Mulli
In 2014 Better Globe Forestry Ltd. in Kenya developed a strategy for AgroEcology with outgrowers and contract farmers in order to plant more trees faster, and be able to give assistance to smallholder farmers like Simon more efficiently. In addition to providing Mukau trees and other tree species the AgroEcology strategy includes elements like microfinance, carbon credits, shared ownership, repurchase agreements, partnership agreements, technical assistance and AgroForestry agents have been trained to help farmers in the field get the best possible results on their land.
Better Globe Forestry Ltd. has as of June 2016 about 500 contract farmers and outgrowers and are fast expanding, which is also creating jobs in the communities. When people like you become Better Globe customers and buy trees more farmers around the Better Globe tree plantations get assistance and a host of economic and environmental benefits are created for that area.
To maximize your social and environmental impact for Kenyan farmers and their families, we suggest buying a monthly Donation Package together with the number of trees that fits your economy and desired economic returns. By using a carbon calculator you can also make sure you buy enough trees to offset the carbon required to carbon neutralize the entire carbon footprint of your family. This could also be an opportunity for the whole family to sit down together and discover the family's total carbon footprint, which could be a great learning experience for kids and teenagers alike.
Interview with one of the outgrowers for Better Globe Forestry in Kenya
Simon: "My name is Simon M. Mulli and this shamba (plantation) is mine."
Interviewer: "Yes, can you tell us a little about the farm? How big is it?"
Simon: "My farm is 4 acres. And I plant cash crops and trees for fruits, mango trees. And Mukau (Melia volkensii)."
I: "How did you come up with the idea of planting Mukau?"
Simon: "The idea of planting Mukau was brought to me by the Better Globe company. They brought the idea to farmers. And because I'm a farmer I decided to join a group that was interested in planting Mukau."
I: "And why?"
Simon: "You see Mukau, is a natural tree in this area that grows without planting. But when the company brought the idea of assisting us, by giving us the seedlings, we decided to join it because we knew very well, that planting Mukau in this area will be a straight success."
I: "And what's in it for you, in planting Mukau trees?"
Simon: "You see, for example, if you look around you, you see Mukau trees. We normally cut the trees for timber. The timber we use at our homes for roofing. And we also sell the timber to people in other towns, that will be used to make furniture and also roofing. So when the idea of planting trees, or Mukau was brought, we through of the economic value. We decided to join the group and start that adventure of planting trees. Because:
1) By planting Mukau we will get money;
2) We will better the environment. That is we'll make the environment better. Because there will be tree cover all over. And by planting trees we'll also assist in this problem of soil erosion in this area. So to me, I felt by planting Mukau I will get profit through many ways."
I: "Perfect. When you plant the trees do need to stop growing the other things you have been growing?"
Simon: "No, we don't stop. We grow cash crops in-between the trees."
I: "What kind of cash crops?"
Simon: "Cowpeas, maize, green grams, yeah."
I: "So planting the Mukau trees is like a bonus?"
Simon: "Yes, it is a bonus, yeah."
I: "So how has the response among farmers been about Better Globe's suggestion of plant Mukau trees?"
Simon: "This area is a stadt (community). We are 35 in number, a group of 35. And all of them have started the program. For example in my case here; I have 213 trees. There are other farmers who have 400 trees, others 100, others 200 and something of that kind."
I: "So how do you look for the future?"
Simon: "The future is bright. Because the idea of planting these trees is not an individual idea. I normally involve my wife and my children, so it is something they will inherit from me. The idea is from me to my wife to my kids. And then I think it will also help the community around."
I: "In what ways will it help the community?"
Simon: "You know when you plant trees we employ people who will bring water. We employ guards who will watch the farm because of the goats, they will come and eat the seedling. So the community will benefit."
Simon: "Thank you."
I: "Thank you."