The University of Maryland's International Women in Agriculture (WIA) program seeks to prepare female extension educators and leaders to work with poor or vulnerable women so as to improve family food security. This is done by expanding or initiating low-input agricultural practices on their farms, including: vegetable gardening, small-scale poultry production, composting to improve soil quality, improved postharvest handling and food preservation, preparation of nutritious meals, and marketing of agricultural products.
Currently, WIA focuses its efforts on the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project (AAEP-II), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). AAEP-II is a consortium of five land grant Universities, led by UCDavis, with UMD-WIA managing the Women's Programming across Afghanistan.
The WIA is based on three key approaches:
WIA also leads a small program in Ethiopia, in partnership with Wolkite, Debre Berhan and Bahir Dar Universities, funded by Rotary International. We are actively seeking new sources of funding and partnership opportunities around the world. At home, our sister program, the Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture Program, is dedicated to providing knowledge and resources to women who share a passion for agriculture.