Jeninah Busingye Creates Wealth Through Planting Trees

Jeninah Busingye Creates Wealth Through Planting Trees
Jeninah Busingye, 70, at her timber store. Photos/Courtesy

For over seven decades, Jeninah Busingye has been at the forefront of environmental conservation in the Rutoto sub-county of the Rubirizi district.

Her dedication to combating deforestation and protecting Uganda's natural environment has made her a notable figure in the region.

Now in her 70s, Jeninah's journey from a self-funded tree grower to a successful timber trader has been a worthwhile journey.

Jeninah's venture into tree growing began as a personal mission, purchasing tree seedlings out of her own pocket.

However, her efforts received a significant boost in 2019 when she joined the Rubirizi Tree Growers and Timber Traders Cooperative.

This partnership introduced her to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which provided quality seedlings and essential extension services.

Today, she manages an impressive 300 hectares of land, planted with a mix of indigenous, eucalyptus, and pine trees.

The introduction of a sawmill, known as a woodmizer, has been a game-changer for her business, allowing her to process timber efficiently and meet high market demands.

The impact of this technological advancement cannot be overstated. Jeninah now sells timber across East Africa, including in Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan.

On a successful month, she can sell up to 15,000 trees, generating substantial revenue of UGX 100 million (approximately USD 26,110). This income has not only improved her livelihood but also reinforced the viability of sustainable tree growing as a profitable enterprise.

WWF’s involvement has been pivotal in Jeninah’s success. By providing quality seedlings and expert guidance, they have significantly reduced her operational costs, enabling her to invest in modern, capital-intensive technology.

This transition from labor-intensive methods to advanced machinery has enhanced the efficiency and quality of her timber products, catering to diverse customer needs.

"WWF's support has been transformative," Jeninah says.

"Their contributions go beyond seedlings; they've introduced technology that has revolutionized timber trading and boosted market transformation efforts."

Busingye's journey tells of the potential of tree planting as both a lucrative business and a crucial activity for environmental conservation. Tree growers can significantly impact both their communities and the broader ecosystem.