Westnile Foresters (WEFO) is a private company incorporated on 18th July 2018. With a motto, “Let’s go green”, WEFO produces and supplies quality tree seedlings and provides agro-forestry services including training, establishment and management of woodlots and plantations and provision of advisory services. WEFO has a state of the art certified commercial tree seedlings nursery in Ayelembe, along Vurra Custom’s road in Arua district. The nursery lies on 3 hectares of land on which two large green houses have been built and a modern solar-powered irrigation system with drip lines in the mother gardens have been established. It has a capacity to produce over 2 million seedlings in a year. The nursery produces sow log (timber) tree seedlings including clonal eucalyptus (Grandis Camudulensis), Pine (Pinus carribaea) White teak (Gmelina arborea), Teak (Techtona grandis), Grevillea robusta, Musizi (Maesopsis emini), Giant lira (Melea volkansi) and Mahogany (Khaya grandifola) among others.
One of the flagship seedlings in the nursery is that for Hass Avocado, the variety most demanded in the avocado export market. WEFO is leading the promotion of Hass Avocado in the region in partnership with Nile Microfinance Initiative and West Nile Tobacco Cooperative Union. The nursery also produces grafted fruit tree seedling such mangoes and oranges and other fruit tree seedlings including quava, paw paws, jack fruit and passion fruit tree seedlings. Other tree seedlings required can be produced on order.
WEFO strives to contribute to sustainable development through provision of quality tree planting materials, training and advisory services. Within this short period, the company has made significant strides in becoming one of the leading actors in restoration of degraded environment in Westnile. For instance, WEFO achieved the required standards for operating a commercial tree seedlings nursery for the period July 2018 to June 2019 and July 2019 to June 2020 as certified by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Uganda. WEFO teamed up with other companies to supply seedlings and to provide environmental restoration services for source protection of the only river supplying Arua Municipality, River Enyau with support from National Water and Sewerage Corporation. The company has already sold thousands of quality tree seedlings to individual tree growers and organizations.
WEFO supports the ten principles of the Global Compact with respect to human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The company is registered as a potential supplier with The FAO through the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM). The company supplied over 200,000 seedlings to FAO-supported communities and institutions in establishing woodlots and plantations in West Nile last year (2019) under Sow log Production Grants Scheme (SPGS) project phase III. WEFO has about four dedicated senior members of staff and 26 temporary/causal workers. The director has over 20 years of experience in rural development from working with the Local Governments and non-governmental organizations to teaching, researching and consulting at Makerere University.