Publications

We are building a more effective field through original research and analysis. Our publications are reflective and data-driven, with a laser focus on maximizing impact.

Reflections From Rwanda: Investing In One of the World’s Fastest-Growing Economies
by Willy Foote

An estimated 75 percent of Rwanda’s 12 million people live in rural areas, and a majority of them are subsistence farmers. These hardworking men and women cultivate small plots of land to meet their own food needs and, when possible, sell surpluses to earn income. For them and for their country, most opportunities for a better future originate in the soil.

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Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives
by Root Capital

Drawing from findings from four individual studies of coffee cooperatives in Guatemala, this "cluster study" explores whether Root Capital’s financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts—and if so, to what extent.

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Applying a Gender Lens to Agriculture: Farmers, Leaders, and Hidden Influencers in the Rural Economy
by Patty Devaney

In this issue brief, we share how we've applied a gender lens to our work in smallholder agricultural finance. Through our Women in Agriculture Initiative, we're doubling down on our support for women farmers, agro-processing employees, and leaders. This program is fostering economic empowerment and underscoring the vital nature of women in less conspicuous—but high-impact—agricultural roles.

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Case Study: Tziscao
by Root Capital

Tziscao aggregates and markets organic- and fair trade–certified coffee from 485 farmers in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. With this impact study, we seek to understand both the cooperative’s likely impacts on its members and of Root Capital’s impact on the cooperative, with regards to both farmer livelihoods and environmental performance.

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Coffee and the Press of Migration
by Willy Foote

The complexity of the coffee rust crisis requires tight integration across government, business, international development and the finance sector. To that end, my organization, Root Capital, has launched the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative (CFRI), a multifaceted and collaborative venture that channels investment to coffee farmers at the base of the value chain.

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In Colombia’s Troubled Coffee Lands, A Revolution in Quality and Resilience
by Willy Foote

Despite countless tragedies, Colombia's long-conflicted coffee lands have recently transformed in ways that are driving hope, optimism, and improved livelihoods farther into the countryside than ever before. In fact, many farmer cooperatives in the region are confronting and managing through issues like coffee leaf rust disease on their own terms and are leading a veritable revolution in crop quality.

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Social & Environmental Due Diligence: From the Impact Case to the Business Case
by Michael McCreless

We believe that assessing social and environmental factors is not just a way for mission-driven financial institutions like Root Capital to create impact. In this issue brief, we posit that social and environmental due diligence can also create financial benefits that partially or fully offset the costs involved for lenders and investors.

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Download Detailed Methodology Guide and Initial Results

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How To Help 450 Million Poor Farmers–Without Destroying The Earth
by Willy Foote

I sat down with Andrew Stern of Dalberg Advisors to talk about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart—how to spur a financial market to serve the unmet needs of the world’s 450 million poorest farmers while preserving our natural resources.

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Case Study: COOMPROCOM
by Root Capital

This case study evaluates how the Nicaraguan coffee cooperative COOMPROCOM supports farmer livelihoods. It assesses the impact of Root Capital lending on clients, and the impact of COOMPROCOM on the smallholder farmers they serve.

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