UK Development Finance Institution, CDC, is backing Miro Forestry, a sustainable timber business operating in Sierra Leone and Ghana with $15 million. CDC is making the investment alongside FinnFund, the Finnish DFI with extensive experience in investing in forestry investments.
The Company will use the investment to expand its operations almost five-fold by 2017, from a current base of 1,700 hectares, (equivalent to 2,300,000 trees), to 8,700 hectares, (or 11,300,000 trees). The wood from the plantation forests will be sold in local and regional markets.
Miro Forestry, which began planting in late 2010, plants eucalyptus and teak on degraded and unused land and employs around 350 people in areas where there are few or no alternative employment opportunities. With the planned expansion, the number of employees is expected to increase to more than 500 over the next 2 years.
This is CDC’s first direct investment in a company operating in Sierra Leone.