Astungkara Way X Love Is Project

Love Is Project partnered with Astungkara Way, financing and creating a programme called the Regenerative Farmers Academy in Bali. Funds for this program were made possible by our collaboration with Claudie Pierlot the year prior. This was done to educate young Balinese students on how they can provide for themselves and their families in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. The students were given the opportunity to work with Astungkara Way and learn about regenerative farming methods. They also received a monthly allowance to support them and their families during their studies. 

Astungkara Way is an organisation set up to help facilitate a move towards regenerative agriculture and tourism within Indonesia.  It is working with co-creators from around the world as well as with various organisations and governments to create a viable model in Bali that can then be taken global.

To achieve this goal, the population needs to move towards regenerative farming. That is why, to help this process along, Love Is Project created the funding for the programme. 

The Regenerative Farmers Academy is a program to share knowledge about Regenerative Farming with younger generations in Bali. Through this program, Astungkara Way aims to teach and increase the understanding and use of Regenerative farming methods among the younger generations to create a solid foundation to carry the practice forward into the future. It also helps create awareness regarding the various opportunities within the agriculture industry. 

April 2022 marked the start of the Regenerative Farmers Academy program which lasted three months, there were 9 young Balinese students who took part in this activity. They were Dwi, Awan, Krisna, Rahayu, Winda, Open, Odon, Dika and Yude.

Academy participants receive classes on Regenerative Farming twice a week for three months. During these classes they were facilitated by the Astungkara Way team who are also made up of young Balinese professionals. They received face-to-face lessons with a variety of learning materials. Starting from basic material about agriculture to more specific material about Regenerative Farming and Permaculture.

One week of the programme would be laid out so that the students would spend 2 days studying material in class and 3 days working in the field where they can then apply their knowledge. Activities in the field include garden maintenance, seed saving, nursery, compost making, worm farm, harvesting. The implementation of this practical field work is aimed to allow a time and location for the students to practice the values ​​and methods of the Regenerative Farming principles that have been taught in class.

In addition, after one month, academy participants are divided into four specialization groups. Each participant enters a group according to their respective interests. Divided into Garden Care, Nursery, Compost, and Content teams. They were accompanied by a facilitator to determine and execute the activities and goals they needed to achieve. Including completing research and experiments in the community garden.

Entering the second month, the changes that have occurred in the Community Garden are very visible. The gardens have started to become more organized, started to produce crops, can make compost more often. The team has harvested over 18 kg of worm compost thus far. They have been able to harvest more and more allowing the incorporation of the yields into staff lunches as well as various events that are held at Astungkara Way. There are large amounts of chilli growing in the garden which is useful as the price of chilli on the market has increased. This abundance allows the sale of some of the produce to the market which provides the students with important experience as well as a huge sense of accomplishment.

The results of the specialisation teams can be seen through the work of the content team who learned to create content to market garden products according to current trends, namely through social media.

The academy participants then began to understand what agriculture and the concept of Regenerative farming was, they began to realise the importance of Regenerative farming to maintain the balance of nature, humans, and the environment. All are confident in their ability and have dreams of creating their own regenerative farming projects soon.  

With the help of the Love Is Project, these 8 Balinese students now have the means and skills to provide for their families, pursue a career in regenerative farming as well as share their knowledge with their families and friends, increasing the use of regenerative farming methods around Bali and thus making agriculture in Bali more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

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