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Joint Initiative Teaches Pupils About the Agricultural Value Chain and Self-Sufficiency

AfriForum, Saai and the Office of Kgosi Mogakolodi Masibi of the Batlharo Boo Tokwana Ba Ga Masibi Traditional Community of Disaneng, west of Mahikeng in the North West province, joined hands to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn about the agricultural value chain and self-sufficiency by planting trees at four schools in the community. During the planting of the twenty eight citrus trees – seven trees at each school – pupils also learned how to plant and care for the trees.

“Our community is thankful that the pupils are provided with the opportunity to take responsibility for the care of the trees and to understand that they planted the trees, and although they will not benefit from it, those that will come after them will reap the fruits of their efforts. We are proud of our heritage and our cultural identity is important to us; that is why we appreciate the contribution of AfriForum, Saai and Witkrans Citrus Nursery to improve the schools in our community that is named after our royal leaders,” says Kgosi Mogakolodi Masibi, Kgosi (Senior Traditional Leader) of the Batlharo Boo Tokwana Ba Ga Masibi Traditional Community.

“AfriForum and the Batlharo Boo Tokwana Ba Ga Masibi forged ties earlier this year and agreed to specifically collaborate on agricultural development and the promotion of community self-sufficiency and self-management; this tree planting project is part of the implementation of this agreement. During the planting of the trees, we conveyed the message to the children that every community member has a responsibility to make a difference in our own communities,” says Nantes Kelder, National Project Coordinator of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum. Kelder also expressed appreciation towards Witkrans Citrus Nursery for the donation of the trees.

“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 agriculture. The planting of trees is not only an act of environmental improvement, it also practically illustrates that a better future is possible through collaborative efforts with a long-term focus, whilst it also provides the promise of stronger and healthier communities in the country,” says Leon Lourens, Development Coordinator at Saai.

The four schools where the trees were planted are named after current and former royal leaders of the community:

  • Mogakolodi Masibi Science, Commercial and Technical School named after Kgosi Mogakolodi Masibi;
  • Tshoganyetso Primary School named after Regent Tshoganyetso Masibi (1914-2004), that acted on behalf of Kgosi Mogakolodi;
  • Methusele II Primary School named after Kgosi Methusele Masibi (1935-1974), father of Kgosi Mogakolodi; and
  • Jan Masibi Secondary School named after Kgosi Jan Masibi (1901-1984), grandfather of Kgosi Mogakolodi.

AfriForum and Saai will support the Office of Kgosi Masibi to ensure the long-term success of the project.

“The mutual recognition and cooperation agreement with the Bathlaro Boo Tokwana Ba Ga Masibi and this joint project that flowed from it, is part of AfriForum’s plan to build a network of cultural communities that can collaborate to ensure a future for all of us here at the southern tip of Africa,” Kelder concludes.

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