Kenya – FMO, a Dutch development financer, has proposed US$7.5 million investment in Komaza Group Inc., a vertically integrated micro-forestry company working with smallholder farmers in Kenya to address a large and fast-growing wood market in Africa.
This investment will be funded from the land use facility of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD). The DFCD seeks to improve the wellbeing, economic prospects and livelihoods of vulnerable groups and enhance the health of critical ecosystems, from river basins to tropical rainforests, marshlands and mangroves.
Komaza is providing (additional) economic prospects and livelihood opportunities for smallholder farmers in Africa by making them the company’s core partner and by providing the tools and services through an innovative model.
Majority of smallholders Komaza works with can be considered the base of the pyramid, and especially in these rural regions the improved livelihood of large groups of farmers will have a positive impact on the larger community.
In addition to supporting vulnerable groups the company aims to plant 2,500 hectares per year in its greenfield operations and plant 3 trees for each tree cut down in its brownfield operations, yielding significant carbon sequestration.
They provide farmers with the support across the entire value chain, from supplying seedlings and other planting inputs to establish tree farms, up to harvesting, processing and selling mature trees to local markets.
With headquarters in Kilifi town, the company works with thousands of farmers throughout Kilifi County, and is actively expanding into Kwale County. The company has planted over 2 million trees with over 6,000 farmers in Kenya. Komaza has goals to plant 1 billion trees with 1 million farmers across 10+ countries by 2030.
Founded in 2006 by Tevis Howard, Komaza has planted nearly 7,000 tree farms and currently employs over 100 full-time staff. It has partnered with nearly 7,000 farm families to plant more than 2,000,000 trees in Kenya’s Kilifi County.