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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, Strengthening Businesses

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: Mexico and Central America, Strengthening Businesses, Future of Farming, Stories of Impact

The Efficient Impact Frontier: New Tools to Allocate Capital for Impact

Posted by Mike McCreless  |  Dec 6, 2016 9:24:19 AM

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Root Capital, like many impact investors, operates in the gray area between traditional philanthropy and mainstream commercial markets. As a mission-focused lender, the organization serves the financial needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises—a Fair trade coffee cooperative in Uganda or an association of women quinoa producers in Bolivia, for example.

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Topics: News and Announcements, Strengthening Businesses

How Extension Services Drive Business Success

Posted by Elizabeth Teague  |  Mar 10, 2016 1:37:36 PM

In December, we published an issue brief focused on the potential of small-and-growing businesses to create shared value for entire supply chains through their agricultural extension services. When delivered effectively, extension services can serve public objectives related to improved farmer livelihoods and environmental conservation, as well as commercial objectives related to procurement and supply chain risk mitigation.

In this post, we discuss one example of successful shared value extension from our portfolio.

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Agriaccess General Manager Tony Poore speaking to one of the Agriaccess farmer groups about an upcoming input delivery

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Topics: Feeding a Hungry Planet, West Africa, Progressive Partnerships, Strengthening Businesses

Las cuatro principales barreras que limitan el potencial de los servicios de extensión agrícola

Posted by Lisa M. Céspedes  |  Feb 16, 2016 4:35:34 PM

Las cooperativas y empresas agrícolas reconocen la importancia de apoyar actividades de desarrollo para los miembros proveedores y sus familias. Al apoyar el desarrollo de los productores con servicios de extensión, el rendimiento y la calidad del producto también aumentan. Sin embargo, se reconoce que hay retos que limitan una implementación exitosa.

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Procesos de auditoría (due diligence) social y ambiental de Root Capital indican que el 92% de las organizaciones con las que trabajamos en Latinoamérica invierte en servicios de extensión para sus proveedores.

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Topics: Strengthening Businesses, En Español

Empowering Farmers in the Face of Climate Change

Posted by Kate Hyder  |  Feb 9, 2016 11:00:00 AM

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Sonia Vasquez, agricultural extension officer for COMSA, presenting during the first day of the workshop

For many of our clients, agricultural extension is a lifeline for the farm families they serve. “Extension,” as it is known in agriculture circles, is the delivery of agronomic best practices that can help farmers increase productivity, adapt to climate change and increase profitability. In December, we released an issue brief that highlighted, among other things, barriers to effective extension and how Root Capital works to help clients overcome these barriers using a shared value approach.

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Topics: Preserving the Planet, Mexico and Central America, Strengthening Businesses