Conventional practices in agriculture and farming has not always positively affected the environment. Agricultural expansions triggered both by the increase of population and/or commercial interests was proven to also have negative impact on the sustainability of the environment, through e.g. misdirected land conversion or illegal forest clearing. One way to curb the uncontrolled expansion of agricultural land and/or plantation is to implement a certified ecological farming through the application of organic farming.
In terms of promoting ecological training YEL, through support of its principle partner PanEco Foundation, has established an integrated organic farming centre, inaugurated as the Ecofarming Centre of Environmental Education Centre (EEC) Bohorok or Agrotechnopark by the former Governor of North Sumatra, H. Syamsul Arifin, SE., on January 8th, 2009. The Ecofarming Centre is located in the middle of Timbang Lawan Village of the Sub-District Bohorok in the District of Langkat.
The Ecofarming Centre (EFC) was established to be a centre of information and education for farmers and public concerning all aspects of agriculture in the broad sense, especially of organic farming. All farming facilities within the EFC serve as a pilot study for the application of organic farming and also as educational media for the EEC Bohorok. An MoU with the Research and Development Agency of North Sumatra on October 27th, 2008 declares the EFC as one of Agrotechnoparks of this province.
The management of the EFC involves community from the surrounding villages. In this centre, techniques and principles of organic farming are discussed and practically tried out, are exchanged and applied based on learning by doing.
One of the facilities in the EFC is the Ecological House equipped with a library, a simple laboratory and a storage facility for seedlings. The education media consists among others of aquaponic, bio-filtration system, fish ponds, cattle farm, vegetable garden, compost hut, rice field, nursery and poly-garden of forest, fruits and medicine trees.
Since its establishment, the EFC is also frequently used as an environmental education facility for school children and students, starting from kindergarten up to university.