National Agriculture Research Institutes

Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) and Quisqueya University


Common bean, sorghum and sweet potato


Costa Rica and Haiti

Costa Rica

Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA)


Quisqueya University

A regional hub for plant cultivar development and breeding innovation in Central America and the Caribbean.

The CACCIA Center of Innovation will build a more resilient, equitable and food secure future for Central America and Caribbean by advancing regional capacity for breeding innovations. CACCIA, whose acronym refers to acting in unison, seeks to build bridges between dichotomies in crop improvement: agricultural science vs. international development; social vs. biophysical research; plant breeders’ priorities vs. farmers’ preferences; men’s vs. women’s needs. 

The coordinated partnership led by two institutions, the Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) in Costa Rica and Quisqueya University in Haiti, focuses on common bean, sorghum and sweet potato due to their regional importance to smallholder farmers. The program is committed to elevating the voices of more diverse stakeholders in cultivar development and dissemination processes. CACCIA will test and generate new, cutting-edge tools, technologies and methods that can stand up to common challenges of drought and heat stress. The Center of Innovation will test yield stability and broad adaptation and work towards a release of superior crop varieties for Central America and the Caribbean, selectively implementing methods such as recurrent multi-location phenotypic rapid cycling, physiological breeding on key traits, and genomic prediction for yield stability.

Through CACCIA we will potentiate our efforts to develop more resilient, productive and nutritious plant varieties for small farmers in Central America and the Caribbean.

José R. CamachoPrincipal Scientist and Cereal Breeder, INTA
Jose R Camacho

Haiti has some of the lowest average grains, roots and tuber yields in the world; we are tremendously excited to develop with ILCI the tools, technologies and methods that will allow Haiti to increase its agriculture productivity.

Gael PressoirPrincipal Scientist and Dean, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and Adjunct Vice Rector for Research, Quisqueya University

Photos from the field

Recent highlights

CACCIAProject updates
November 17, 2021

Developing drought-resistant beans in Costa Rica through genetic improvement

As Costa Rica gets dangerously warmer and drier due to the onslaught of climate change, bean breeders here are at the front lines of the fight to protect food security.…
Gael Pressoir review sorghum plant during trialsCACCIAProject updates
October 27, 2020

Securing the future of sorghum in Haiti

There’s no mistaking Gael Pressoir’s intense passion for two things: food security and equitable collaboration. That commitment from Pressoir, Dean for the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FSAE) at…
October 1, 2020

Breeding crops for climate resilience: Visions from Haiti, Costa Rica, Uganda, Malawi, and Senegal

Written by: Hale Ann Tufan, Associate Director of the Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement This year has been rocked by unprecedented global turmoil. As disruptive as 2020 has been, the…

Project leaders

Jose R Camacho

Dr. José R. Camacho

Principal Scientist, Costa Rica

Dr. Gael Pressoir

Principal Scientist, Haiti

Project team

INTA, Costa Rica

  • Dr. Nevio A. Bonilla: Cereal Breeder
  • Dr. William Sánchez: Forage Agronomist
  • M.Sc. Ruth Castro: Molecular Biologist
  • B.Sc. Juan C. Hernández: Legume Breeder
  • M.Sc. Luis A. Sánchez: Agricultural Economist

Quisqueya University, Haiti

  • Thierry Tovignan, PhD: plant physiologist
  • Bénédique Paul, PhD: agricultural economist
  • Evens Joseph, MSc: bean breeder
  • Marie Darline Dorval, MSc: sweet potato breeder
  • Jean Rigaud Charles, MSc: cereal breeder
  • Violette Jean-Marie Guerrier, MSc: Food Technologist
  • Jemay Salomon, BSc Agronomy

UCR, Costa Rica

  • Dr. Néstor Chaves: Legume Breeder
  • Dr. Marcela Dumani, Nutritionist

USDA/ARS, Columbia, MO

  • Dr. Kristin Bilyeu: Molecular Biologist

University of Missouri

  • Dr. Jere L. Gilles: Social Scientist
  • Dr. Corinne Valdivia: Social Scientist

Project partners

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