AfriForum and Saai joined hands with Kgosi Gaboilelwe Moroka of the Barolong Boo Seleka Traditional Community of Thaba ’Nchu to empower schools to teach learners about the agricultural value chain and self-sufficiency. Seven fruit trees, including apple, pomegranate, apricot, peach and fig were allocated to seven schools and the opportunity was used to show children how fruit trees should be planted and cared for. The wealth creation possibilities relating to fruit production, processing and sale of products were also conveyed to the learners.

“We hosted this fruit tree planting marathon in Arbour Month and Heritage Month, planting seven trees at five schools in one day – this is to signify firstly that it takes each and every single day, 24 hours a day, to work towards prosperity. If we are to become a sustainable, self-sufficient and prosperous nation we must teach our future generations to work hard and also raise awareness through this initiative of the importance of greening, the importance of agriculture as a source of nutrition and also as a source of life, self-sustainability and self-sufficiency and the economy that comes out of agriculture – but also teaching our young to nurture and take care of that what belongs to them by looking after the trees so that they can enjoy the fruit of their labour,” says Kgosi Gabo Moroka, kgosi of the Barolong Boo Seleka Traditional Community.

“The recognition and cooperation treaty entered into by AfriForum and the Barolong Boo Seleka Traditional Community earlier this month stipulates that there will be cooperation in agricultural development and the promotion of community self-sufficiency and self-management. To provide schools with the opportunity to teach children about fruit production and to take responsibility for the planting and care of trees is a next step in the practical implementation of this treaty,” says Barend Uys, Head of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum.

“As a family farmer network, it is important to Saai that people and especially children understand that the value chain that ensures that we all have food to eat starts at primary production. It is also important for children to know about the wealth creation possibilities provided by farming. This is an opportunity to empower schools to transfer this knowledge to children, and that is why it is a privilege for Saai to be involved,” says Dr. Theo de Jager, Executive Board Chairperson of Saai.

AfriForum and Saai will assist the office of Kgosi Gaboilelwe Moroka in supporting the schools with caring for the trees as well as the future expansion of this initiative to other schools in the Barolong Boo Seleka Kingdom.