Absa, majority-owned by Barclays, is supporting EduPlant, an initiative to help schools in South Africa grow their own food in an ecologically sustainable way.
It has teamed up with energy company Engen and the charity Woolworths Trust to jointly invest ZAR12m (approximately £1,080,000) in the programme over the next three years.
The EduPlant scheme also aims to help schools recognise the value of permaculture techniques, which include recycling waste, creating their own organic compost, and employing biological agents in place of harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
It will improve nutrition for thousands of students across the country, and generate an income source for unemployed parents through the sale of produce.
Joanne Rolt, Programme Manager at EduPlant, attributes the initiative's success to its grassroots approach, which targets educators and community leaders: "This year, our funding partners have enabled us to host 72 permaculture workshops across all nine provinces, reaching 8,000 educators.
"Thanks to the support of our partners, this is a record attendance year for us."
EduPlant has operated for the past 16 years across South Africa and in the last five years, more than 2,500 food gardens have been created as a result of the initiative.
Absa's support of EduPlant is part of Looking after Local Communities, a community investment programme in which Barclays invests in the neighbourhoods, towns, cities and countries around the world where it operates.