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Coffee, Culture and Change in The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Posted by Rick Peyser  |  Mar 22, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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Root Capital board members and staff with the leaders of ANEI, a Fair Trade and organic coffee cooperative in Colombia

In late February, I joined a few members of Root Capital’s staff and fellow Board members in traveling to visit ANEI, a Fair Trade and organic coffee cooperative located in the mountains of northeastern Colombia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The cooperative, which has been a Root Capital client since 2012, has 700 small-scale coffee farming family members from four indigenous groups – the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas, and Kankuamos – each with a distinct language.

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Topics: South America

Peru's Coffeelands: Where Women are Taking Charge

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Mar 7, 2017 5:21:07 PM

Dora Lisa Carrión Gómez

Dora Lisa Carrión Gómez, president of the women's group at the coffee cooperative APROCASSI. 

Businesswoman. Farmer. Community leader. Mother. Most of us would struggle to be any one of those things. Dora Lisa Carrión Gómez? She’s all four.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, South America

In the Hills of Northeast Congo, an Underdog Steps into the Ring

Posted by Richard T. Tugume  |  Feb 7, 2017 7:00:00 AM

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Hills rise into the sky in the coffeelands of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Looking out the window as my taxi jostles along a bumpy dirt road that winds from Goli to Ndrele town through the hills of the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), I’m struck by the peaceful scenery that surrounds us. Grassy hills spotted with groves of trees and small gardens of banana, maize, and coffee trees rise gently into the horizon, stretching for miles on either side of the road. However, this region’s apparent tranquility belies a violent past — and scars that a few scrappy businesses are fighting against all odds to heal. 

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Topics: East Africa, Peace & Recovery

How One Pioneering Business is Raising Incomes in the Kenyan Highlands

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Jan 27, 2017 9:48:10 AM

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Janet Karea Mutuura, 62, at her compound in Meru, Kenya. 

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Topics: Food Security & Nutrition, East Africa, Women in Agriculture

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

Making Agriculture Work for the Farmers of the Future

Posted by Alexandra Tuinstra  |  Jan 17, 2017 12:24:15 PM

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Noe Portillo of CAPUCAS, explaining how his cooperative is supporting farmers in diversifying into other crops like tomatoes. 

“If we don’t have coffee… well, we just have to look for another alternative.” In just a few words, CAPUCAS agronomist Noe Portillo perfectly sums up the practical and bold leadership that’s needed in coffee today.

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Topics: Central America, Leadership, Youth