Petsana Primary School in Reitz is much greener after receiving 100 trees from the VKB Group, one of Mzansi’s leading agricultural enterprises. The school is among a number of local schools and non-profit organisations in the Eastern Free State and Limpopo that are celebrating the company’s 100th birthday by planting 500 trees as an investment for the future.
Hannelie Cronjé, VKB’s publisher and special projects manager told Food for Mzansi that groups of learners planted the trees at their schools. “Our team will visit the school again next year to deliver a prize to the learners who have taken the best care of their tree,” says Cronjé.
The trees for the campaign were donated by VKB, Save Our Planet and SAM Engineering together with Willow Feather Farm that gave the compost. “We sent trees to all our VKB branches in Limpopo and the Eastern Free State and they identified schools or organizations to plant the trees,” Cronjé adds.
Jan van der Walt, VKB’s purchasing and corporate marketing manager says that celebrating 100 years in the agricultural industry cannot be achieved without being relevant and true to the needs of producers.
“We also realise our responsibility towards our environment, the people and stakeholders in our business whilst remaining financially sustainable.”
The tree planting project brought together schools and other social organizations to work together with VKB to create value for future generations, making this a very special project.
As part of the drive, the learners involved in the project were taught about the importance of caring for the trees. Other lessons included learning about protecting the environment as well as global warming and how it is threatening the environment. The learners were encouraged to take responsibility by taking care of the trees.
Cronjé says the response from the schools and organizations was amazing. “Without trees, we cannot breathe. If every company in South Africa planted trees every year, you can only imagine how beautiful our country will be,” she says.
“In all of this we want to teach them a love for the land – not only love and respect for agriculture and farmers, but also the love for our country. Through this small gesture we invest in the future of South Africa.”