SOTRAPAL S.A : the fruit of a public-private partnership transforms the products of food processing
The Society for the Transformation of Food-Processing Products (SOTRAPAL S.A) is an association created by GIKEN (a private Haitian company) and the Coopérative of Transformation of Food-Processing Products (COTRAPAL) comprised of the Association of Progressive Citizens for the Development of Duvier (ACPDD) and the Organization of Young People for the Development of Célicourt (OJEUDEC). ACPDD and OJEUDEC are beneficiaries of USAID Haiti’s Feed the Future West/WINNER project. SOTRAPAL, S.A. focuses on the processing of corn, rice, potatoes, plantains, and other agricultural products.
Haiti currently imports more than one billion dollars of its food products. GIKEN plans to invest $2.5 million dollars in this enterprise. SOTRAPAL’s business plan aims for an annual revenue of $1.5 million dollars, which with annual increases, will double after ten years.
Gilbert Kénol, CEO of GIKEN said, “we want to achieve the vision of the private sector working on the economic development of the country by investing in expanding sectors like agriculture, which currently employs the largest number of Haitians. “
Agricultural associations are among the most important actors in the creation of wealth in a country. Historically, they have not had access to financing options due to their lack of legal statuswhich hinders their access to credit.
“This partnership is proof of the progress in the farming sector. With this company, farmers will have access to other markets which were previously inaccessible because of the archaic farming methods we practiced. Today, that has changed! We are entrprenuers” said Ronald Champagne, President of ACPDD.
Jean Neresse Evenne, President of OJEUDEC, supported this, stating “SOTRAPAL, S.A. was created to build a sustainable association of farmers. This company will offer them more economic opportunities by processing their production.”
The food-processing products of SOTRAPAL S.A will be marketed by the distribution company, ENJOY,which has three points of distribution in the capital area: Port-au-Prince, Croix-des-Bouquets and Kenscoff.
The FTF West/WINNER project has worked with these agricutltural associations since 2009, strengthening them in preparation for these partnerships to generate income and employment. After more than four years of assistance, a new category of rural entrepreneurs has emerged. These farmers, organized in producer associations, are now capable of marketing their products and of breaking into new markets.