Cultivating Peace in War-Torn Rural Communities
War leaves scars. Not just on bodies, but on land and livelihoods. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, decades of violence have left a deep mark on rural areas—and on millions of farmers struggling to survive.
Cecile Batumike is one of them. During the conflict, he was forced to smuggle his crops into Rwanda, bartering them for food and other essentials. “Many people in my village died that way, leaving their children orphans and without any kind of assistance,” he says.
Today, though violence persists, the war is over. And as a member of the SOPACDI cooperative, Cecile is not simply surviving, but thriving. The cooperative links him to international markets and fair prices—which means a more secure future for him and his family.
In post-conflict regions, agricultural businesses are a vital scaffold. As farmers return to their land after war, they find homes burned, tools missing, and livestock killed. Agricultural businesses can provide essential resources for recovery—among them, tools, seeds, credit, jobs, and access to high-value markets.
In the fragile period after violence, this is critical. Economic development makes peace possible; economic insecurity drives conflict. Yet investors are often reluctant to put money into unstable communities.
Root Capital doesn’t wait. We help agricultural businesses put systems in place to spur growth. We provide loans and financial training to agricultural businesses in several post-conflict regions.
Coffee producer, Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2013, we have disbursed more than $13.8 million to seven businesses that provide higher, steady incomes for over 30,000 smallholder coffee farmers. We also develop the financial skills of their management teams to ensure the businesses’ long-term viability.
A coffee farmer in Manizales, Colombia.
In Colombia, where Root Capital has been lending for 12 years, we are on the scene as the country emerges from the world’s longest-running civil war. We support businesses like Expocosurca, a coffee and cocoa exporter located in an area dominated by illicit coca farming. With our support, Expocosurca can fetch better prices for its members, enabling them to avoid drug-related cultivation that fuels insecurity.
Coffee washing station, Maraba Cooperative, Rwanda.
Nowhere have we seen the link between agricultural businesses and sustainable peace more than in Rwanda, where Root Capital has been lending since 2004. There, former combatants work side-by-side at a coffee washing station. When both sides prosper, tensions are reduced.
By joining Root Capital, you can help agricultural businesses in post-conflict communities grow, providing much-needed stability for rural areas. With your support, we can heal the scars of war and build a lasting foundation for peace.
Help war-affected rural communities prosper. Make a donation today.
Topics: Peace |