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How These Mayan Farmers Are Modernizing a Two-Thousand-Year-Old Tradition

Posted by Lula Perez  |  Oct 8, 2018 7:00:00 AM

5.Foto de Juan Ocaranza_EDUCE

For the Maya, bees and their honey have always been sacred. Bees are a symbol of fertility and abundance; kaab, the Mayan word for bee, can also be translated as “force,” “land,” or “world.” But for the Mayan producer-members of the EDUCE cooperative, honey isn’t just a part of their cultural heritage. It’s also their livelihood.

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

Sweetening the Deal for Cocoa and Honey Producers: Root Capital’s New Partnership with the Trafigura Foundation and Puma Energy Foundation

Posted by Elise Garrity  |  Apr 19, 2018 1:06:41 PM

A honey producer in Guatemala holds a frame of honeycomb before putting it into a centrifuge.

Honey and chocolate are made to satisfy the sweet tooth, but these treats aren’t always a sweet deal for the smallholder farmers that produce them.

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Partnerships, Livelihoods, Our Community

Unlocking Opportunity for Those Who Need It Most

Posted by Kristin Williams  |  Jan 10, 2018 12:03:27 PM

Maya Ixil 5.jpg

Two billion. That’s the number of people in rural communities who are struggling to survive on less than $2 per day.

Many of them are farming to feed the rest of the world, yet they aren’t getting enough to eat. Many live hundreds of miles from accessible markets, without the roads to reach them. With few choices, they’re forced to sell their hard-earned crops at rock-bottom prices.

But there’s a way out of this cycle of grinding poverty.

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

What a Dollar Can Do

Posted by Will McAneny  |  May 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Producer-members of Ketiara Cooperative in Indonesia picking coffee cherries.

Root Capital was founded in 1999 with a commitment to raising incomes for farmers working in the most vulnerable regions of the world. But instead of working with farmers directly, we chose to focus on the agricultural businesses that create economic opportunities for hundreds, or even thousands, of farmers at a time.

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Topics: Livelihoods

Internal Credit Funds: Extending Credit Where it’s Needed Most

Posted by Will McAneny  |  May 11, 2017 10:26:17 AM

Members of APROCASSI, a coffee cooperative in Peru, line up to apply for credit from the cooperative's internal credit fund.

Members of APROCASSI, a coffee cooperative in Peru, line up to apply for credit from the cooperative's internal credit fund.

When asked about the effect that a rural business’ internal credit fund has on farmers, Root Capital advisor Fany Murillo answers with a single word: “epic.”

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Advisory Services, Livelihoods

Investing in Uganda’s Coffee Sector

Posted by Root Capital  |  Aug 23, 2016 3:13:28 PM

After a decade of growth, a coffee cooperative shows why reliable access to finance is critical for success.

Global coffee consumption is on the rise. According to the International Coffee Organization, demand will increase by 25 percent over the next five years. As The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, this offers tremendous opportunities for smallholder coffee producers in Uganda, Africa’s biggest coffee exporter.

It’s here where, in my role as a portfolio manager for Root Capital, I witness how the cultivation and sale of coffee can transform rural communities. Since 2005, Root Capital has lent over $200 million to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Africa, including more than $80 million to clients in East Africa’s coffee industry. And I have seen how access to finance is a crucial ingredient in the sector’s growth.

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Topics: East Africa, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods