Kiskeya Aqua Ferme

Kiskeya Aqua Ferme

Organization type: 
for profit
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

An integrated organic farm established in rural Haiti to create wealth, job opportunities, reduce poverty, rural migration, environmental pressure as well as contribute to Haiti's food security and sovereignty. It grows tilapia, Large Black pigs, banana plants, fruits and vegetables. It also produces of charcoal briquette made from sugar cane bagass and provide training to local residents.

About You
Kiskeya Aqua Ferme
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name


Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


Organization Name

Kiskeya Aqua Ferme

Organization Phone

857-234-1679 0r 011 (509) 3622-9127

Organization Address

Route Coloniale, Petite-Riviere Leogane (Cheridant)

Organization Country

, OU

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, OU

What makes your innovation unique?

Haiti imports over 60% of food to meet local demand. The oil crisis of 2008 led to a severe food crisis which destabilized its government. Haiti need investment in agriculture so it can have food security and sovereignty. Rural Haiti has always been negleted and lacks basic services and job opportunities. As such, the majority of residents migrate to Port-au-Prince in search of better opportunities. In the process, they create more environmental pressure by cutting down wood and exacerbating precarious resources that exist in urban regions. The recent earthquake illustrated that. Rural Haiti has been the suppliers of children for the "restavec" system where parents with large number of children whom they are unable to care for, send them to live with strangers in exchange for food. These children end up getting abused as house slaves. Rural Haiti has ample supplies of labor. Decentralizing and creating job opportunities in rural Haiti as Kiskeya Aqua Ferme has done will lead to increase food security, healthier communities with protection of the environment.We have trained 15 young people in fish farming and pond contruction and hired them.Many have taken masonary trade and have been hired in all phases of construction. We have stimulated the local economy as many individuals started small business selling materials or farm surplus to Kiskeya. The staff are from the rural Petite-Riviere and were previously unemployed. Haiti's fish consumption in the Caribbean is the lowest due to inavailability. Fish farming is the fastest growing food sector and has been shown to increase much needed protein in the population, create wealth and reduce poverty. We promote fish farming as a poverty fighting tool. We are located in a sugar cane region, we promote the use of charcoal briquette made from sugar cane bagass and will be providing training to a number of unemployed youth who will be able to make a living protecting the environment. We promote organic farming method.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

A poster person for Kiskeya Aqua Ferme is Valder Labady. At 21 years of age, he is the farm manager. Two years ago he befriended other staff on the farm. He was just a student who was unable to continue school because his family was poor. Kiskeya Aqua Farm picked up his school fee, he moved on the farm and share the meals for the employees. He later demonstrated superb managerial quality and is very polyvalent, quick learner, trustworthy and was hired as the farm manager.He has received trainnig in diesel mechanic, truck driving and drive and repair the farm 10 wheeler Mack truck when needed. Valder's transformation is seen in the community that honesty, hard work is rewarded.

Mario used to go cut sugar cane in the Dominican Republic. For 2 years since he has found the job in the farm, he stopped going. He gets to live with his family in Leogane.

Rural wealth is measured by the amount of livestocks owned. Many of our employees have more cows and goats due to increase wealth.

As we are located in a rural area, we have made a commitment to hire 85% of our workers from the surrounding areas. We have already paid over $60,000 U.S. in income during the construction phase to workers and have hired over fifty residents to work on the farm. The rural family has an average of 6-8 children. Potentially over four hundred people have benefited so far. We have seven permanent staffseveral temporary staff and consultants. As we have constructed our fish farm, and with the expansion of our piggery, we have added more staff. Due to our job creation in rural Haiti, we are reducing migration to Port-au-Prince. We are also empowering local women by giving them an opportunity to start a small business through micro-credit. We have contributed to the local economy of Leogane as we purchase most of our material in that city. We are contributing to the betterment of the environment by reducing pressure through our promotion of organic farming method, use of sugar cane biogases to make charcoal and the use of biogas for cooking as an alternative to wood cutting. Lastly, we have also established a market that absorbs excess fruits and vegetables that we use as animal feed that would otherwise be wasted. Petite-Riviere also benefits because the investors will also allocate a portion of their return to support education, women empowerment, and youth programs.
Every year the Haitian Diaspora sends $1.6 billion to Haiti. This money usually returns to the country of origin as many of the food and items purchased are imported. The success of Kiskeya Aqua Ferme will indicate that money sent to Haiti can stay and develop communities as money sent by expatriates would purchase food produce locally and support the local economy.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

Haiti relies on over 60% food imports to satisfy local demand. As an example, 1 million eggs are imported daily from the Dominican Republic. Local fishermen are able to provide only 4 to 5 metric tones of fish per year, thus $17 million of seafood is imported yearly in an attempt to satisfy local market. Another $3 million of pork is also imported yearly among the many other basic products. As fuel prices skyrockets, so does the food price which creates more poverty, social tensions and render unstable democracies. Haiti was on the brink of explosion with the food crisis of 2008. Investment in agriculture in the rural areas will create jobs, reduce rural migration and create healthier communities and render more stable democracy and help shelter the storm from the next food crisis when fuel price rise again.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

Rule number: Treat all employees as family. We have built housing on the farm and provide them with a monthly food stipend. They save money since they don't have to pay rent or buy food. We have a core of trustworthy employees who share the mission of Kiskeya Aqua Ferme. Every employee is expected to learn and do every aspect of the farm regardless of title when necessary. One can substitute for the other. All the employees are also aware that once the farm is profitable they will reap the benefits in profit sharing and better salaries.
In the community, we show respect to our neighbors, we share their concerns and help identify resources to help them. We ask for their input when necessary. We help repair potholes, clean irrigation canals to facilitate them getting water to their farm. We also allow them to have access to valuabe irrigation water from the fish ponds with plenty of organic matter to help their crops grow more.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

2011: The farm should be profitable and produce 100,000 of red tilapia per year
fully launched the microcredit program for women in the area
Help establish a cooperative a cooperative of charcoal briquette maker from sugar cane bagass.
2012: The farm should have a updated hatchery that provides tilapia fingerlings for other farmers in the area. The piggery will produce 600 of pigs per year. The farm will market smoked tilapia as its specialty
2013: Increase production capacity to 150,000 lbs of tilapia per year

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?


If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

It can show that investment in agriculture can generate jobs and develop rural communities. Alternative resources such as sugar cane bagass in Leogane can make a big impact in protecting the environment by showing an alternative to cutting of wood to make charcoal. It can show that by providing training and small seed funds to individuals or groups to begin briquette production we can protect the environment. Support of other potential ventures such as Kiskeya Aqua Ferme can also make an impact by attracting further investors to create jobs in Haiti particurlarly in rural regions.

Many Haitian home town association and potential investors who are examining the Kiskeya Aqua Ferme model as a replicable model that link diaspora based investment to local communitities in Haiti to support susatainable changes would be emboldened to start making investments in Haiti.

What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

Kiskeya Aqua Ferme has partner with Rasin Foundation to create a free medical clinic to dispense medical care and meds free of charge to rural villagers who lacked acess to care and provide community health education and support youth soccer.

Kiskeya Aqua Ferme also has a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in Haiti who has provided support in the form of free tilapia fingerlings given to the farm as well as technical support from Cuban aquaculture experts to help support development of the fish farm. They also gave a custom franchise to the farm.

Kiskekya Aqua Ferme also has relation with Caribbean Harvest, Haiti's largest fish hatchery. We have purchased tilapia fingerlings, fish feed and also have received technical advice from Dr Abe Valentin its executive director.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

A unique social entreprise with Haitian diaspora-based investors in U.S. and Canada who shared interest in sustainable development in Haiti and agree to contribute a portion of their return for investment in not-for profit social projects in the rural community. $200,000 have investment. Yolande is a 73 years old retiree who invested $3,000 of her retirement fund. So did Leo, a 69 year retiree $7,000. The Abdhall Kahllaq family donated $750 after the food crisis in 2008 to support microcredit for women. Arielle took a second job to help launched the project. Myriam invested part of her children's education. Others have put in as little as $100. We all have faith in better communities in Haiti through sustainable investments. The potential benefit is worth the risk.
Business Plan
Market Size and Potential: Since 1970, aquaculture has been the world’s fastest growing food sector with an annual growth rate of 10%. 50% of all fish consumed comes from farms. As the planet is threatened with overpopulation, deforestation, environmental pollution, and the disappearance of wild stocks, aquaculture remains the solution to continue to supply a valuable source of protein.World Bank estimates 25 % of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited and 50% are fully exploited. By 2030, fish farming will have to raise its output to 85 million tones per year to sustain an increasing world population. Our business plan calls for the production of 100,000 lbs of tilapia per year at $1.50/lbs (U.S),fruits and vegetables $15,000 per year, selling of 200 pigs at $300 per pig. Expenses account for 60% of gross income.
Market:1 million eggs are imported daily from the Dominican Republic. Local fishermen are able to provide only 4 to 5 metric tones of fish per year, thus $17 million of seafood is imported yearly in an attempt to satisfy local market. Another $3 million of pork
Target market: Urban and suburban customers in Leogane, Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I was born in Haiti and traveled there initially to help set up a medical clinic. I was struck by the food insecurity in the country where at that time over 70% of food was imported. Everything offered to me to eat was from either the Dominican Republic or elsewhere. Meanwhile, I also met a lot of young people who wanted an opportunity to work. Jobs, jobs is what I kept hearing from the people whom I have made contact with. I also met with government officials regarding the medical clinic idea. They warned me to think more about financial sustainability as money tend to be concentrated in the hands of a few well connected NGOs and many of them tend to create dependency. I returned to Boston and convince a few friends that the only way to get Haiti out of the brink is by creating jobs opportunities. HaitiaHaiti is already called the "republic of NGOs" due to a disproportionate number of NGOs. I convinced them that we can still create a social entrepreneurship model that create jobs, address Haiti's food security and sovereignty while still be able to use part of the profit to eventually support a medical clinic in a more sustainable way. I then went on to get training in aquaculture and aquaponic food production, hydroponic food production and did extensive research on organoponic. I then founded Kiskeya Aqua Ferme and settle the farm in rural Petite-Riviere, Leogane. The farm has paid over $60,000 salaries and created many temporary and permanent jobs. At time we have 15-20 people working. The farm has been slowy built over the past 2 1/2 years as investors are able to contribute. On 10 acres of land, we have 8 fish ponds capable of producing 100,000lbs of fish per year, a piggery capable of growing 400 pigs per year, over 3000 banana trees, along with papaya, fruits trees. More importantly, the community have reaped the social benefit of this enterprise before the social investors as many lives have been changed and the community has a free medical clinic

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

I am a social entrepreneur who share the conviction that social entreprise can bring positive change in a community. I have spend many years working in non-profit organizations some which I have co-founded. The Association of Haitian Women in Boston, The Home of Transition for Haitian Families of Massachusetts are such examples. I have served as board chair and treasurer. Later, I co-founded Rasin Foundation in Massachusetts to assist and support the delivery of culturally competent health care to inhabitants in the poorest localities of Haiti and encourage greater cooperation of Haitian expatriates and other citizens of the United States to provide knowledge and technology transer. Most recently after the devasting earthquake in Haiti, I help formed the Boston-Haiti Health Support Team to support the short term and long term health needs of Haiti. The groups recruits, train and send medical missions to Haiti's general public hospital in the capital. I believe non-governmental organization have a great role to play in society. However, in the case of Haiti, it can not remain the power broker. For the country to develop, it needs businesses that are capable of creating sustainable jobs. I believe that rather than think strictly in charitable term, a donor or investor should take risks in investing in businesses that have the potential to bring meaningful change to a community or society as a whole. The Kiskeya Aqua Fermre model clearly has demonstrated that in Petite-Riviere de Leogane (Haiti).

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