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 10, 2022

Inclusive research methods prioritize smallholder sorghum farmers’ voices in Central America

Sorghum represents a unique opportunity to improve food security in Central America and the Caribbean. In Costa Rica, an inclusive research method led by the Central American and Caribbean Crop…
August 8, 2022

New initiative applies genome breakthroughs, machine learning for sorghum breeding

A new project seeks to improve sorghum breeding by combining the best aspects of two powerful software applications, applying cutting-edge genomic research to agriculture and building partnerships between scientists in…
January 20, 2022

New initiative catalyzes sustainable seed systems from Caribbean to the Atlantic

A new initiative will catalyze seed systems development in Haiti and Senegal and sustainably deliver agricultural research outputs to farmers at-scale. The ILCI-Caribbean-Atlantic Seed Systems Initiative (CASSi) — led by…

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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