University of DC
Yao Afantchao has engaged in innovative agricultural transfers of knowledge to small farmers in the USA and Africa. He is an expert in ethnic and specialty foods including African and Caribbean vegetables and seafood processing. In this capacity, Mr. Afantchao consults with several institutions, including universities, government agencies and private organizations. Working with urban food producers, Afantchao advises residents on how to grow and cook a variety of flavorful international menu options, and introduces commercial growers to expanding ethnic produce marketing opportunities.
Mr. Afantchao is the leading specialist for the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES/UDC) Ethnic and Specialty Crops Program, where he has contributed to the ethnic vegetables program with the following outcomes (1) ethnic and specialty program recognition at the University of Maryland research and education center; (2) dissemination of ethnic vegetables production guide to farmers; (3) adoption of ethnic and specialty vegetables by Maryland farmers including Amish and Mennonite farmers; (4) expansion of specialty produce acreage bringing additional profit to farmers; and (5) ethnic vegetable markets expansion including Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states.
His work has been recognized in the Mid-Atlantic region by the Mid-Atlantic Food & Farm Coalition. He also serves as the State Coordinator (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, a program of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture) for Washington, DC. Mr. Afantchao is a member of the Advisory Council for the Northeast Integrated Pest Management Center of Cornell University.
Through a partnership with the District of Columbia Public School System and the DC Central Kitchen, Afantchao also introduces international foods to District Youth. Mr. Afantchao has received several recognitions and awards including a grant from Maryland Industrial Partnerships, the Mid-Atlantic Food and Farm Summit’s Farming Leadership Award and the prestigious Honorary County Agent and Service to Agriculture Award.
Afantchao was educated in Togo, West Africa, and Prairie View University, Texas, where he studied Small Farm Planning and Agricultural Marketing.