Root Capital Announces the Release of its 2023 Climate Resilience Roadmap Report

The 2023 Climate Resilience Roadmap report details Root Capital’s progress towards fostering smallholder farmer resilience to climate change 

Cambridge, MA, April 22, 2024 – Root Capital, a nonprofit social impact investor that supports agricultural enterprises in Latin America, Africa and southeast Asia, today announced the release of its 2023 Climate Resilience Roadmap report. The report, introduced today in honor of Earth Day, shares progress on Root Capital’s ambitious six-year strategy to support urgent climate action in rural communities by building the resilience of agricultural enterprises serving smallholder farmers. 

Smallholder farmers are among the most vulnerable to, and least responsible for, the effects of climate change. Despite this, smallholder farmers receive less than 1% of global climate finance. Root Capital’s work with small and growing agricultural businesses provides farmers with information and resources needed to prepare for the new climate reality. The report charts Root Capital’s progress to date advancing climate resilience for agricultural enterprises and their member farmers. In 2023 alone, Root Capital provided 123 businesses with agronomic and climate resilience advisory services, and disbursed $67M in climate finance to vulnerable communities. This year, Root Capital expanded its efforts to design and test innovative climate solutions, including in support of agroforestry, regenerative soil management, climate-smart infrastructure and climate-resilient crops and shade trees. 

“The agricultural enterprises Root Capital works with are driving climate action for communities and ecosystems on the frontline of the climate crisis,” said Elizabeth Teague, Root Capital’s Senior Director of Climate Resilience. “But they need more support, especially more financing, to realize a resilient future. We strive to listen deeply to our clients and tailor our climate solutions to the priorities they’ve identified within their communities.”

Since the inception of the Roadmap, Root Capital has grown its portfolio of climate action leaders–businesses that are making substantial contributions to combatting the climate crisis through their work–by more than 80 percent. In 2023, Root Capital tripled its climate action loan disbursements compared to the previous year, disbursing nearly $1.6 million in financing to nine businesses in Central America and East Africa for business investments in soil regeneration and renewable energy. Additionally, Root Capital disbursed $300,000 in climate resilience grants to 17 clients, which were used to construct solar dryers, start or expand tree nurseries, and pilot biodigesters to turn waste into clean energy and fertilizer. 

“We are grateful to work alongside our client agri-businesses as partners in climate action,” said Root Capital Founder & CEO Willy Foote. “Together, we’re building their resilience in the face of the climate crisis through innovative finance flows and capacity building that bolster their ability to adapt and to prosper. Though there’s still much to do, we’re as committed as ever to rural agricultural communities and the small and growing agri-businesses serving as a true climate vanguard.”

Read the full report here.