AAEPII was an extension of the successful AAEP I project which had been funded by USDA-NIFA through USAID. However, AAEP II, the second phase, was funded directly by USAID. AAEPII was also led by UC Davis with the same consortium members; Purdue University, Washington State University, the University of Maryland but with the addition of Texas A&M University in place of the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan to cover animal agriculture.
Under AAEP I, the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) had demonstrated that it was able to deliver meaningful extension programs with real economic benefit for Afghan farmers and herders in a few core provinces. However, there remained a need for MAIL to demonstrate that it could deliver services for Afghan households across many provinces and districts. AAEPII was established to assist the Afghan government and build public confidence in MAIL to provide services that made a difference broadly in Afghan lives.
The AAEP II Consortium worked with the MAIL and the Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAILs) staff and brought U.S. land grant and additional technical resources to bear on the implementation of specific, focused programs in the five targeted regions of the AAEP I project. At the same time, AAEP II assisted in scaling these activities into 17 provinces and 117 districts across the country.
Over the life of the program, these activities demonstrated success in achieving program outcomes of: reducing storage losses in grain, animal products, and horticultural produce; improving crop and animal agriculture; and increasing the availability and utilization of grains, fruits, vegetables, and animal products. In the Women’s program led by the University of Maryland, more than a thousand Afghans attended trainings specifically on health and human nutrition, coupling that knowledge with improved uses of produce from their own kitchen gardens.