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Building Mutual Cooperation through Sustainable Agriculture Programs

By: I Wayan Ngurah – Agriculture Program Facilitator

The hands-on organic farming program at EBPP Manikaji School serves not only as a platform for teaching dryland agricultural techniques to 31 junior and senior high students and local farming groups but also to cultivate strong community values. After successfully mastering agricultural techniques through the pilot project's demonstration plots, EBPP students are now expanding their activities to their individual land. In the past few months, our students have terraced and prepared 19 of the 25 kitchen gardens in preparation for the upcoming rainy season by "Gotong Royong", working together for mutual benefit. Collaborative land management not only accelerates project completion but also strengthens solidarity among them.

Throughout these activities, students are taught to assist each other, share responsibilities, and accomplish tasks collectively. The significance of gotong royong is not confined to school activities but is applied within all the Balinese communities in their daily lives.

As a facilitator, I am optimistic that the spirit of mutual cooperation will continue to thrive even after the completion of the farming project. Our hope is that all students can integrate these values into their lives, fostering a culture of mutual support and sustainable cooperation.

Looking ahead, they are expected not only to become proficient in sustainable land management but also pioneers in building communities and shaping humanitarian values. Through mutual cooperation, students not only acquire practical knowledge but also become positive agents of change in society. This program provides evidence that agricultural education can be more than just technical skills; it can also serve as a foundation for building a generation that cares about the environment, collaborates, and supports one another.

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