Tropical Hardwood, to save Panama from Deforestation.
By, Uwe Paschen.
Tropical Hardwood to save Panama from Deforestation.
Tropical Deforestation and decades of Agricultural Misuse and abuse of the land have left Panama's Rain Forest in a dyer state to the point it is next to non-existing any longer. Adding to this the erosion of good fertile yet very thin layered topsoil, Panama is a Tropical desert in the making today.
However this may very well change soon, since a graduate Student from Ohio came up with a bright idea wile working in Panama with the Peace Corps volunteers. Joint in the project by other Grand students from The Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Tech.
They came up with a new or rather old and revived concept of leasing land rather then buying it and planting 500 trees per acre. Those would be mature for harvesting with in 25 years and become a valuable source of income on the tropical hard wood market.
The Key to this model and the success of it, is the fact that unlike other past projects that bot out the farm land and reforested it with out care taker nor follow up, displaced the Farmers and forced them off their land, clearing yet more rain forest some where else and restarting the same problem all over again.
This Model however keeps the farmer on the land by making him a long-term partner and leasing part of his land for planting tropical hard wood, wish in turn can be harvested and sold at a high price with in 25 years time. Providing the Investors and the farmer with profits.
Each investor must put down at least $7,000.00 US; this would have an equivalent return of 7.8% per annum once the Trees are being harvested. The first harvest would happen after 5 years once the trees have to cleared due to the dense grows wish would provide a first return on the investment, however the large pay back would only happen 25 years after the initial planting.
One has to think of it as a retirement fund or College fund for the Children or grand Children. The benefit would be that we would be able to save the Rain forest and keep the farmers on the farm as well as providing income through work, since the farmer has to tend to those trees. Part of the investment goes into the cost of leasing the land, Paying the farmer to tend to the trees and the rest goes into buying Trees and planting those as well as later harvesting them.
It is a good idea and yes, the lop holes have been taken care of as well. The Farmer is not allowed to buy more land and clear it with the gains nor can he use the planted area.
The business plan is in fact so well though out that, it won recognition in College-sponsored competitions aimed at promoting socially responsible ventures. Such as at the University of Washington and the University of Texas.
As Mr. Croston, the brainchild behind this Idea said “We believe in a more inclusive sort of capitalism.” In addition, I fully endorse him on that one.