HAITI: The Positive Outcomes of the AKOSAA Project

The "Enhancing and Building Capacity for Increased Food Security in Haiti" Project, known by the Creole acronym AKOSAA, ended its activities on October 31st 2018. This initiative was carried out by Laval University with the collaboration of CCISD as well as several Canadian and Haitian partners, and the financial support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). CCISD has provided support for the project management, both at a local level in Haiti, and in Canada.

Implemented over a five-year period (2013-2018) with a budget of CAN $8,288,483, this multidisciplinary project aimed to increase food security and to improve nutritional health of the population of Saint-Marc, a Commune located in the Artibonite region, in Western Haiti. To achieve this goal, Laval University, CCISD and their partners focused their efforts on three specific objectives, which were to:

  • Provide support to the State University of Haiti in its efforts to better adjust its academic programs to societal needs in relation to food security and nutritional health;
  • Increase diversification of agricultural production and households incomes;
  • Improve food security and nutritional health of the Commune of Saint-Marc, in particular among women and children.

AKOSAA was designed in order to help prevent malnutrition by focusing on local resources development (human, natural or economic resources), while promoting equality between women and men through its actions.

Positive Outcomes

Many Haitians have benefited directly from the project’s actions: close to 8,000 people took part in agriculture and nutrition-related activities in the 4th section of the Commune of Saint-Marc, about 230,000 citizens of the Commune benefited from nutritional aspects alone and 270 tons of yellow aphid tolerant sorghum seeds were distributed to 62,500 producers across the country during the complementary project called “Pitimi Pa pè Pichon”.

After five years of activities, the AKOSAA Project has achieved many positive outcomes. Among other things, the project has contributed to the revival of the sorghum industry, which had been practically eradicated by the yellow aphid, and has helped to spread bio-fortified crops with high nutrition value, in particular orange-flesh sweet potatoes and iron enriched beans.

In addition, seed and grain sales contracts have been signed and honoured by AKOSAA-supported cooperatives. The initiative has also contributed to providing quality training for students as well as professional development activities in agronomy, medicine and ethnology for professors.

Finally, women received significant support from the project, in particular through an outreach strategy aimed at promoting of good agricultural and environmental practices and through mutual associations.

Although food security remains a critical issue in Haiti, the AKOSAA Project has made a significant contribution to agricultural development, economic growth, nutritional health in Saint-Marc, as well as to university education, thanks to its Canadian and Haitian partners