Fort Hare, 25 May 2021 – With more than 25 percent (1.6 billion) of the world’s population reliant on the resources of nature and its forests, it is imperative that it remains protected. Today, Konica Minolta South Africa is excited to continue greening areas across the country with NPO, Food & Trees for Africa, by planting over 200 trees at the historical and prestigious University of Fort Hare (UFH). The university boasts remarkable alumni including, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe and Mangosuthu Buthelezi. This planting is part of Konica Minolta South Africa’s campaign to honor former President Nelson Mandela’s legacy sites.
As part of the ongoing conservation efforts undertaken by Konica Minolta South Africa an additional 13 schools and two tertiary institutions in communities around the area of Alice in the Eastern Cape have also received donations of trees. A further three community farmer groups, supported by the University, will also receive 20 fruit trees each through this donation. These fruit trees will have a significant positive impact on the farmer groups in terms of long-term food security thanks to diversified produce.
The donation of the 200 fruit trees to UFH, in support of the Dept of Agronomy, will assist in driving research and innovation in South Africa’s agricultural sector. The university’s capacity for fruit-tree research will benefit immensely from the planting of these fruit trees within their Research Farm.
Enabling this type of research can have profound knock-on effects in terms of enhancing South Africa’s knowledge base around fruit production and long-term food security. In a similar way, Fort Cox Agricultural College’s capacity for fruit-tree research is being bolstered through Konica Minolta South Africa’s donation of 240 fruit trees.
“Konica Minolta South Africa, is not only committed to greener recycling practices and greener manufacturing, however, the environment, the economy and local communities have also benefitted through the company’s ongoing tree planting initiative,” says Gary Eves, East London branch manager at Konica Minolta South Africa.
Reproduce, replace, and re-engineer
As much as 12 million hectares of forest are cleared internationally every year. To counteract these increasing carbon emissions, Konica Minolta South Africa has engaged in regular plantings and to date has planted in excess of 57,000 trees countrywide, offsetting a total of 21,076.75 tons of CO2 equivalent.
Speaking at the event held at the Khanya Nursery site, UFH’s Professor Michael Aliber says, “To leave a greener footprint, means to live a more sustainable life. With Konica Minolta South Africa’s contribution to the university and the community as a whole, it will become easier to do just that. The benefits of planting just one tree helps create an everlasting giving-ecosystem, when protected.”