Thobo Trust launches school vegetable garden project

  • 15 March 2019
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  •  thobo-trust

Senwes board member Thabo van Zyl and his wife Ninette were instrumental in getting the project off the ground, offering help in terms of labour and advice to ensure that planting and eventual harvest go off without a hitch. Through a strong partnership between Senwes, Syngenta, Omnia, Senwes Grainlink, Senwes Equipment and Itokisetseng PrimarySchool nearly 1,4 hectares of vegetables have been planted on the school grounds in Losdoorns, in the Free State.

During the first phase of planting, which was essentially a test phase, only cabbage was planted to assess the fertility of the soil. Once donations were sourced for the provision of shade netting to protect the garden from the harsh Free State sun, planting was completed. The good news is that the first phase has been a resounding success and the vegetables are thriving. 

The project has not been without it’s challenges. According to Senwes Legal Liason Officer Mandla Zwane, who is the coordinator of the project, the extremely hot temperatures and arid conditions meant that boreholes had to be sunk to ensure that there would be adequate water supply for the cabbage. Members of the School Governing Body have become an integral part of the process with everyone involved taking up tools and helping where they can. 

The children of Itokisetseng will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the project, but the long term plan is to eventually produce enough vegetables to sell to local markets and raise funds for the school as well as make use of some of the produce to supplement the school’s feeding scheme.

Thobo Trust hopes to also expand the school’s Early Childhood Development Centre in 2019. The Trust’s long-term strategy is to duplicate this model at other schools in the region. 

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