Tuesday, January 09, 2007

... and trees and money

in an earlier post, i had indicated that in five years you can sell one tree for 5K, well that was before i went for hols at home and indeed found out that the trees are sold for 14K each, after negotiation (intense) comes to 10K. the saw man takes 7/= per foot to turn the tree into timber. young siala trees about 1/2 year old are sold for 100 a piece. and by the way when you buy the tree, you are not entitled to its branches, leaves , bark and roots! those are negotiated differently. i guess in an election year with so much uncertainity, you are better off selling your shares and planting 1000 trees in your shags, you will be rich enough to go for an office (MP) in 2012. being an MP in kenya is currently the best investment. better even than kengen IPO!

but if you hate trees then try keeping pokot bulls for just one year, and see your money double or tripple before your very eyes. all u need is wellpaid maasai herdsman (no pun intended, these guys actually love animals and treat them with utmost dignity). the village economy ensures that come december, every household can buy meat and so the demand for the meaty pokot bulls soars through the roof like East African cables! in feb, they are selling their herd to pay school fees and so on.

however the leeward side of the pokot cattle is that they have brought with them a weed which cannot be finished, grows so fast and hinders even the most stubborn grass from growing.

in some areas, there are very many free roaming guinnea fowls. the birds are almost outnumbering the domestic fowls but they are too intelligent for the hunters at home. however one mzee has just the 'dawa' for them. can you believe it? changaa! pour changaa on the substance they use to make the brew. its called 'thing' back home i have no idea how its called in english. the guinea fowls love the stuff but quickly get drunk from changaa. you then just go and pick the choisest one and let the others get sober and flee!


  1. yes trees are a great investment. I'd rate them higher than cows (if one has ample land) - the costs are lower and risks are less than managing a herd

  2. What stops someone from chopping down your tree while you are in Nairobi???... But do I say...

  3. Banks , this time i managed to read your analysis. very incisive and well put. i have been looking for those hybrid variety to plant. in my area the blue gum and cypress are easily felled by ants. this is a particular one we call 'riwo' its deadly and doesnt die easily, i hope there are tree types which are resistant to these ants. i know our indeginous 'siala' is resistant but takes longer to mature.

    coldi ... am sure its not a totaly risk free venture thats why you cannot equate it to treasury bills but again if you put barbed wire around your plantation, you can protect them from those fellas!

  4. My friend... when you are away, you think a barbed wire fence will keep them (crooks) away???

    When we had an earlier discussion, I advised that a group should pool their funds & plant on a large acreage then have trusted askaris.

    Cutting a barbed wire fence is very easy! Even KWS has trouble keeping out poachers (of trees) from the abedares & they have guns!

  5. i agree coldi, maybe am assuming that everyone comes from a nice rural like me. robbery with violence (eg cutting a fence) is still abominable. maybe thats why poverty levels are high

  6. Sounds interesting.

    Do you know aprox. how many trees people plant per acre?

    Do you know how they space them?


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