Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2014-21

Title: 

From the field: Empowering women to improve family food security in Afghanistan.

Year: 

2014

Authors: 

Wilcox, CS; Grutzmacher, S; Ramsing, R; Rockler, A; Balch, C; Safi, M; Hanson, J

Source: 

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems :1-7

DOI: 

10.1017/S1742170514000209

Abstract: 

Kitchen gardens may improve family food security and nutrition. While these gardens are the domain of women in Afghanistan, women face unique challenges accessing training and resources to maximize small-scale agricultural output. The University of Maryland's Women in Agriculture Project builds capacity among female extension educators to work with vulnerable women to implement and maintain kitchen gardens. Extension educators use experiential methods to teach vegetable gardening, apiculture, small-scale poultry production, post-harvest handling and processing, nutrition and marketing through workshops, demonstration gardens and farmer field schools. This paper explores contextual factors related to women's food security and agricultural opportunities, describes key project activities and approaches and discusses project success and challenges, sustainability and implications for future programs.

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