Workshop on food systems in Haiti

Empowerment workshop: Workshop on Food Systems in Haiti

General Information

Empowerment Workshop


Workshop Organizer:
Institut Culturel Karl Lévêque (ICKL)

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National Forum on 14-16 October 2021

Agro ecology and food sovereignty: for food systems in line with popular demands

In September 2021, the World Summit on Food Systems was held under the auspices of the United Nations. This event is taking place in a context in which the food system is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, with large multinationals and transnational corporations strengthening their grip on multilateral decision-making mechanisms with the sole objective of maximizing capitalist profits. In spite of the viable alternatives experimented and presented by the peasant movements, the large multinationals persist in seeking false solutions through the commodification of peasant alternatives such as agroecology.

Nearly one billion people live under constant threat of food crisis. A significant part of these people are peasant farmers. If it is true that the world currently produces enough food (3 times more) to feed the entire planetary population, how did we arrive at this crisis, at the inaccessibility to the right to food? What are the real causes of this catastrophe with the consequences we know: famine, migration, mass exodus, poverty, exclusion, marginalization, climate change, among others?

Agro-ecological family farming feeds more than 60% of the world's population, while the global agri-food industry has sufficient technology to guarantee equitable access to food for all populations. Why does this model fail to meet this need? What are the economic and political motivations that prevent it from doing so?

Agricultural land grabs, extractivism, the commodification of the environment through mechanisms such as the Carbon Market, anti-peasant policies... these are all structural and political threats to the achievement of the political objective of food sovereignty.

There is no crisis of alternatives to the current food system. The alternative experiences developed by peasants around the world in the practice of agro-ecological family farming, both in terms of practices and in terms of political orientation and governance, have shown the way for a sustainable response not only in terms of the objective of food sovereignty, responses to climate change, but also to the governance of food systems.

We need a paradigm shift. We need to re-paysanize the global food system. We need to break the mercantilist software of the world food system to solve the problem of hunger, to strengthen the basis of peasant alternatives and to pose them in terms of public policies and access to rights, to seriously address the climate crisis caused by reckless capitalism... to build collective well-being and to put the human being back at the center of the concerns of the multilateral system (to be reviewed in its essence) and that the populations participate in global governance.

In Haiti, the privatization of the State, the application of neoliberal policies and a second-rate and servile capitalism, among others, are all reasons for and objective threats to the peasantry. If it is true that the Haitian State, since its creation, has always been anti-campesino, the earthquake of January 2010 has again revealed it with acuteness. The Strategic Plan for the Development of Haiti (PSDH) marks a turning point in the orientation of public policies, exposing the exclusionary and marginalizing character of the Haitian state's decisions and reinforcing the control of anti-popular national sectors in the service of transnational capital.

We must change the dependency of public policies in Haiti on inhuman and degrading capitalism. How can we repoliticize the struggle for food sovereignty? What are the pillars of the repoliticization of peasant work? How to create the conditions for a new model of governance of the national food system? How to create new dynamics of struggle for the elaboration and implementation of public policies articulated around popular demands?

So many questions that organizations of Haitian social and popular movements intend to address in the organization of a National Forum on October 14, 15, 16, 2021, in an international context marked by the realization of the World Summit on Food Systems, but also by a serious political crisis, socio-economic at the national level with an accelerated worsening of living conditions of the majority of the population in Haiti.

Within the framework of this forum, the concerned organizations will take advantage of the occasion of the international day of the rural women, on October 15, 2021, to feed reflections on the fundamental role of the women farmers, in the process of construction of the food sovereignty of the country. This refers to the socio- political issues of women's access to resources, including land, in this context of political, social and economic crisis, both at national and international level. The forum will also take advantage of the celebration of October 16, as World Food Day and October 17, as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to analyze the root causes of the situation of dehumanization in which millions of people around the world, particularly in Haiti, are wading.

  • To take stock of the public policies in application and the peasant alternatives in accordance with the claims related to food sovereignty

  • To reflect on the need to revitalize social and popular struggles for articulated responses oriented towards the re-politicization of alternative practices of agro-ecological family peasant agriculture

  • A common understanding of the causes and consequences of the crisis of the global and national food system is developed between Haitian actors and their international partners in order to strengthen the struggle for alternative public policies

  • Concerted strategies are put in place for an articulation between Haitian social and popular movements and their international partners in order to face the challenges related to the governance of food systems, with a view to guaranteeing the rights of the population, in particular peasant farmers.

  • The actors put in place strategies and initiatives to support the struggle of peasants against land grabbing, for public policies to support agro-ecological family farming.

  • Women's organizations and movements - Peasant women

  • Peasant organizations and movements

  • Human rights organizations

  • Production, processing and marketing cooperatives

  • Youth organizations

  • Support institutions in rural areas

  • Universities (State - Private)

  • Trade unions

  • Organizations and institutions of popular education

  • International partners (Via Campesina, Brigade Dessalines, Entraide & Fraternité (E&F), Grassroots Int'l

    (GRI), Jubilee South, Broederlijk Delen, Global Partnership Network, CIDSE CCFD-Terre Solidaire, ...)

  • State structures (MARNDR, CNSA, INARA)

The main thread of the forum will be a dialogue between knowledge (between the analyses of researchers, analysts and the experiences developed by different actors evolving in the sphere of food sovereignty.

Thus, the methodology will give a predominant place to exchanges and workshop work to ensure greater participation.

It is planned:

  • Short interventions (framing of themes)

  • Exchanges, comments and questions

  • Workshops on specific themes to feed the proposal documents that will result from the Forum

Thursday, October 14
08:30 - 09:00Welcome and

registration of participants


09:00 – 09:30

Opening: National Anthem Artistic performance

Artiste KEB


09:30 - 09:45

Introductory remarks, background, and methodological and logistical details of the forum


  • Chavannes JEAN-BAPTISTE, MPP, Via Campesina

  • Laurent LEVARD, UTAA

10:30 - 11:10

Questions and comments

11:10 - 12:00

Coffee break

12:00 - 13:00

Megaprojects, extractivism: constant threats to food sovereignty and the strengthening of the system of exploitation

  • Peterson DEROLUS, KJM

  • Georges Eddy LUCIEN

  • Ilionor LOUIS

13:00 - 13:45

Questions and comments

13:45 - 14:45

The current food system, a mechanism of violation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR): How to guarantee access to rights?


  • Marie Eveline LARRIEUX, SOFA



14:45 - 15:45

Questions and comments


Closing of the 1st day

Friday, October 15th
08:00 - 08:30

Arrival of the participants

08:30 - 08:45

Reminder of the previous day

Kepler Aurélien

08:45 - 09:45

Agro-ecology as a production model to guarantee food sovereignty: What public policies to guarantee farmers' claims?

  • TK

  • Ceres HADICH, Direction Nationale du MST

  • Fiona FAYE, GPN-Kassel University

09:45 - 10:30

Questions and comments

10:30 - 11:00Coffee break  
11:00 - 11:30

Cultural animation

Rebèl Pakamò

11:30 - 13:00

Peasant struggles in a context of deepening neoliberal policies in Haiti: Testimonies on struggles for the right to land



  • Milosthène CASTIN, AREDE



13:00 - 14:00

Exchanges around the testimonies

14:00 - 14:45

Climate Change, External Debt and Public Welfare: Fostering a Citizens' Movement for Climate Justice and the Right to Life

  • GAFE
  • Chavannes JEAN-BAPTISTE, MPP

14:45 - 15:30

Questions and comments


Closing of the 2nd day

Saturday, October 16th
08:00 - 08:30

Arrival of the participants

08:30 - 08:45

Opening and methodological and practical details

08:45 - 09:45

Launch of the Workshops :

  • World food system and food sovereignty: what alternatives? Which governance model?
  • Agrarian reform and food sovereignty: How to meet the challenge? How to guarantee the right to land for the peasantry?
  • Agro ecology vs. Agribusiness: how to put Haitian peasants back at the heart of national and global food systems?
  • What are the essential elements that can create a favorable framework for advocacy for food sovereignty in Haiti and the governance and control of food systems?
09:45 - 10:30Coffee break  
10:30 - 11:30

Resumption of work in the workshop

11:30 - 12:30

Plenary session



12:30 - 14:00General discussions 
14:00 - 14:30

Proposal and adoption of the text of the Forum Declaration

14:30 - 15:00

Cultural animation

Vanessa JEUDI

15:00 - 15:15

Acknowledgements and closing remarks




Workshop on 06 August 2021

Work­shop on food sys­tems in Hai­ti

In Haiti, nearly 5 million people live in food insecurity, which corresponds to more than a third of the country's total population. Most of these people live in rural areas and are peasant farmers, despite the importance of the agricultural sector in the country's economy and in particular in the economy of peasant families. This situation is the direct consequence of the application of neoliberal policies and political measures taken to promote the development of agribusiness, particularly after the earthquake of January 12, 2010 through the Strategic Plan for the Development of Haiti and the Collier Report (named after the English economist Paul Collier). These documents propose a reinforcement of economic and social policies contrary to the challenges faced by the country in terms of respect for the economic, social and cultural rights of the majority of Haitians and divert the country from the path that could facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), despite the commitments made by the Haitian state in this regard.

Agroecological family farming, despite the secular contempt of the dominant classes and ruling elites, plays a very important role in the economic and social equilibrium of families, and the country in general. However, the measures in favor of agribusiness, in particular the land grabs of the countries, the mining projects, the accelerated urbanization of agricultural land, the de-urbanization of the rural environment, the establishment of industrial free zones on agricultural land throughout the country, the lack of supervision, The accelerated urbanization of agricultural land, the de-industrialization of rural areas, the establishment of industrial free zones on agricultural land across the country, the lack of supervision, credit and agricultural infrastructure, the lack of access to water, the control of markets by a small group of local vultures and international acolytes, the impacts of climate change on the lives and working conditions of peasants, among other things, is poisonous for food sovereignty and ecosystems.

How can we achieve the objectives of self-sufficiency and food sovereignty when the main pillars that can guarantee them are often transformed into objects of covetousness of local capitalists and their international acolytes in search of profit at any price? How can we hope to guarantee the regeneration of ecosystems with policies that promote the degradation of living spaces? How can we protect ourselves from the consequences of climate change when public policies in the agricultural, environmental, urbanization, production and industrialization fields are likely to worsen the consequences of these phenomena? How can we guarantee equitable food systems1, when peasant producers are stripped of all their resources, especially agricultural land, and are pushed towards large cities to swell the "programmed slums"? How can and should Haitian peasants build articulated struggles for the elaboration and implementation of public policies aimed at the application of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Rural Workers2 and the Peasant's Book of Demands?

At the global level, the food system controlled by large transnational corporations is at the root of an unprecedented set of crises that reinforces the system of marginalization and exclusion, especially of peasant producers who are bearing the brunt of the consequences. The great food crises (despite a level of productivity and production that can feed more than 3 times the world's population), the economic crises, the climatic crises, the environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity, the disappearance of native seeds, are all drifts caused by the industrial food system that endangers the future of living beings and the planet in general.

The COVID-19 aggravates the situation of the vulnerable and shows the extent of the catastrophe caused by neoliberal policies and the negation of the rights of the people. It adds to the list of challenges that the populations have to face in spite of the policies of disengagement of the States in the financing of the public services, while large sums are invested by these same States to save the capitalist companies that have always undermined the bases of a model of solidarity that favors the social and ecological balance.

Agribusiness is a threat to life, a threat to sustainable food systems. In Haiti, less than 5% of the national budget is allocated to the agricultural sector. Of this figure, not only must we consider that the majority of this budget (more than 70%) is allocated to operating costs and the rest is used to finance import activities of a few families, traders of the seaside, instead of investments capable of guaranteeing food self-sufficiency and sustainable and articulated food systems.

In the face of this, Haitian peasant organizations and movements are articulating their struggles around the principles of agro-ecological family farming as a basis for responding not only to the system of exclusion and marginalization, but also and above all to the challenges of climate disorder.

At the global level, social movements, particularly Via Campesina, are raising their voices to denounce a global food system controlled and directed by transnational agribusiness corporations. Their concerns become even greater in the face of the findings of complicity between the UN system and these companies to destroy the foundations of agro-ecological family farming, despite the adoption in 2018 of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The decisions taken by the UN General Assembly in the context of the realization of the UN Summit on Food Systems (to be held in the fall of 2021) prove that the influence of big business on multilateral institutions is growing in defiance of the democratic principles that should guide their governance. These influences are likely to jeopardize the future of the planet and the attainment of the MDGs by 2030, as planned by the United Nations.

The Haitian State, through the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) intends to organize its participation in this Summit. To do so, consultation workshops are organized on the basis of a document whose content and orientation prove once again that the public policies envisaged are not oriented towards responses to peasant demands; this puts Haiti far from the path to achieve the SDGs in the time frame set by the United Nations.


Perspectives of Haitian social movements

Despite the importance of this world summit, the Haitian government has not really engaged in an open debate, nor an information campaign to allow the population to identify the real issues. It is true that some meetings have been organized with actors by the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA). However, it is clear that these meetings are dedicated to insiders and do not really involve the real actors of the food systems in Haiti. At the same time, certain key questions are not explored in order to find appropriate answers regarding the orientation of public policies in terms of agricultural model, economic model, but also and above all the climatic challenges that could allow for the regeneration of ecosystems and promote the development of agroecology.

It is clear that global food systems as conceived by the United Nations system, designed by large transnational corporations, supported by governments will not be able to provide answers to the serious food crisis from which people are suffering. Nor can they provide solutions to climate change and the serious ecological crises that threaten the existence of the planet. We need to divorce ourselves from arrogant and savage capitalism, the commodification of public services and life, extractivism... in order to adopt innovative models of production and consumption that respect the life and work of millions of peasants and rural workers and new social relations of production. Agroecology and the social and solidarity economy offer interesting paths through successful experiences.

Faced with this situation and the impact that such a UN Summit on food systems can have on countries like Haiti, in view of the organization of the preparatory Forum of the United Nations to be held in Rome in July, PAPDA and ICKL, together with several other actors of the national life, has decided to organize a workshop of exchange and information on food systems in Haiti, the agrarian issue and the peasant claims. This workshop will be held in Port-au-Prince on August 6, 2021.

  • To reflect on the real stakes of the United Nations Summit on food systems in the perspective of public policies on food sovereignty in Haiti
  • To initiate discussions in view of the organization of a Counter-Summit in Haiti on the basis of peasant demands
  • The Haitian actors, the Haitian social and popular movements in particular, are sensitized and informed on the importance of the Summit and agree on demands and proposals to influence the positioning of the Haitian Government during the Summit
  • The participants of the workshop agree on the establishment of an ad hoc committee for the realization of a Counter-Summit on the occasion of World Food Day (October 16) and World Day Against Poverty (October 17)
  • Organisations et mouvements de femmes - Femmes paysannes
  • Organisations et mouvements paysans
  • Organisations de défense des droits humains
  • Coopératives de production, de transformation et de commercialisation
  • Organisations de jeunes
  • Institutions d’accompagnement en milieu rural
  • Universités (Etat – Privé)
  • Syndicats
  • Organisations et institutions d’éducation populaire
  • Partenaires internationaux (Via Campesina, Caritas, Brigade Dessalines, Entraide & Fraternité, Grassroots Int’l, Jubilé Sud, Broederlijk Delen, Global Partnership Network, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, …)
  • Structures étatiques (CNSA, INARA)
  • Understanding the global food system: actors - mechanisms - governance

  • Agrarian issues and food systems: the socio-economic and agro-ecological stakes of agricultural land grabbing

  • Global food systems and production and marketing mechanisms - Food systems and the right to food issue

  • Capitalism - Trade liberalization and the World Food System

  • Agroecological alternatives and food sovereignty as issues in social struggles for public policies:

    • The Declaration of the Rights of Peasants and Other Rural Workers: a tool for struggle

    • The Peasants' Demands Books, a political tool for advocacy in favor of public policies that support agro-ecological family farming peasants at the heart of global production and food systems

The workshop will follow a methodology that prioritizes exchange and debate. Therefore, it is planned :

  • 3 interventions of 15 minutes each
  • Comments and debates around the interventions
  • Work groups and workshops on specific themes that will lead to content proposals for the final declaration of the workshop
08:30-09:00Welcome and registration of participants  
09:00-09:15Introductory remarks and background of the workshop


09:15-09:30Capitalism and the global food system: companies, profit before human rightsCamille CHALMERS, PAPDAKepler Aurélien
09:30-09:45The agrarian question at the center of concerns for agroecological production models and the food sovereigntyJean Rénol ELIE, professeur UEHRicot JEAN PIERRE
09:45-10:30Comments and questions  
10:30-11:00Coffee break  
11:00-11:15Public Policy and the World Summit on Food Systems - The Haitian government proposalsCNSARicot JEAN PIERRE
11:15-12:00Comments and questions  
12:00-12:30Haitian Peasant Movements and Agroecological Alternatives for Food Sovereignty: For a Food System that favors farmers' demandsOrigène LOUIS, TK Evelyne Larrieux, SOFAGuy NUMA
12:30-13:15Comments and questions  


  • World food system and food sovereignty: What alternatives? Which governance model?
  • Agrarian reform and food sovereignty: How to meet the challenge?
  • Agroecology vs. Agribusiness: How to put Haitian farmers back at the heart of national and global food systems?
  • What are the essential elements that can create an enabling framework for advocacy for food sovereignty in Haiti and governance and control of food systems?
14:15-14:45Lunch break  
14:45-15:45Plenary - Comments and Questions  
15:45-16:30Proposal and adoption of the text of the StatementCamille CHALMERS 
16:30-16:40Acknowledgement and closing remarksMarc-Arthur FILS-AIME, ICKL