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Launching Youth Leadership Development Advisory Services in Rural Ghana

Posted by Kate Hyder  |  Apr 20, 2017 2:33:16 PM

A focus group of youth leaders in agriculture in Tamale, Ghana.

Other than the fact that dresses and headscarves made of brightly patterned kente cloth dotted the room, the scene could have been from a young professionals’ networking event in San Francisco or Boston: 11 millennials, gathered into small focus groups in a hotel conference room, discussing what leadership meant to them.

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Topics: West Africa, Advisory Services

Sparking a Data Revolution in the Peruvian Andes

Posted by Zehra Ijaz  |  Jan 24, 2017 6:00:00 AM

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Using tablet-based technology to conduct farmer-level surveys allows cooperative managers to analyze trends that inform better management decisions. 

In 2014, Root Capital was conducting routine household surveys with farmers in the Peruvian Andes to assess the impact of its work with UNICAFEC, a local coffee cooperative. Noting the tablets and digital surveys used by Root Capital’s research team, Alfredo Alarcón, UNICAFEC’s manager, made a simple request: could Root Capital teach his staff how to use similar technology to perform annual farm inspection audits, a burdensome requirement for organic certification?

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Topics: South America, Root Capital, Advisory Services, Mobile ICT

Guinea Pigs, Fish and Bees: How Peruvian Clients are Diversifying Livelihoods

Posted by Alexandra Tuinstra  |  Nov 17, 2015 1:41:38 PM

Members of CAPEMA use beekeeping as income-generating activity

Members of Root Capital client CAPEMA, a small coffee cooperative in San Martin, Peru, use beekeeping as an income generating activity. 

The coffee leaf rust crisis that swept through Latin America from 2011 to 2014 forced many coffee-farming families to find alternative sources of income just to make ends meet.

To address this critical need, Root Capital began working with our clients two years ago to explore income diversification opportunities for rural families. Recently, in Lima, Peru, Root Capital and Heifer Peru convened a workshop for representatives from over 40 of these farmer organizations to exchange their experiences with a variety of non-coffee ventures and discuss successful business models for revenue diversification.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, South America, Advisory Services

Tweaking Financial Management Trainings to Better Serve Women: A Checklist

Posted by Asya Troychansky  |  Oct 2, 2015 4:15:25 PM

A Root Capital financial management workshop in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

A few years ago, Esperanza Dionisio, the general manager of Pangoa, a coffee cooperative in Peru, told us a story about a meeting she’d recently attended.

“There wasn’t a single woman there,” she said. “More than a hundred men, all of them stunned, looking at me like some kind of rare insect. But I had the chance to raise my hand and say something, and they were all shocked. It was just me and all those men, but I had the background and the knowledge, and so in the end they were satisfied, and they appreciated my work.”

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Advisory Services

With A Little Help, These Organic Farming Families are Navigating the Road to Success

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Sep 16, 2015 5:48:05 PM

Root Capital CEO Willy Foote visting Cooperativa RAOS in 2013

In the sleepy, highland town of Marcala, Honduras, there are no street names. To get from Marcala’s church – the town’s main point of reference – to Cooperativa RAOS, the country’s first 100 percent organic coffee cooperative just outside of town, you’d better have one of three things: a detailed map, a local guide, or a healthy dose of luck.

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Topics: Central America, Advisory Services

Getting Women a Seat at the Table: Q&A with Charles Maina, Financial Advisory Coordinator for East Africa

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Jul 20, 2015 12:02:00 PM

Charles Maina

Over the last year or so, our Advisory Services team has been experimenting with different ways in which we can continue to increase the participation of women in our various financial management and technical assistance workshops around the world.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Charles Maina, our financial advisory coordinator for East Africa, to hear about the innovative approach he and his team have been piloting among our Advisory clients in Uganda and Rwanda.

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Topics: East Africa, Women in Agriculture, 15 Voices Blog Series, Advisory Services