Climate Action

Small and growing agricultural enterprises are global leaders championing climate resilience in their communities.


For farmers, climate change is not a far-off crisis. It’s a daily reality. Root Capital connects farmer enterprises with urgently needed resources, including localized data on climate risks, best practices for mitigation and adaptation, and capital for climate-smart investments.

The Challenge

Despite significant global commitments around climate change and the recognized importance of agriculture in confronting it, only 3% of climate capital today flows to agriculture. This investment is often too narrow in scope or one-time-only, leaving under-resourced communities to confront a massive global challenge on their own.  

Yet farmers are our greatest allies in the fight to save our planet. The right support can enable them to conserve precious ecosystems and adapt to existing climate impacts—all while maintaining or even raising their incomes.

Our Approach

Lend to businesses committed to rural climate action.

Build enterprise and farmer capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Pilot financial products to unlock enterprise investments in climate action.

Demonstrate successful approaches and encourage replication by others.

Our Impact

$98.8M

116

473K

in climate finance disbursed to vulnerable communities.

businesses receiving agronomic and climate resilience advisory.

farmers and employees reached via climate resilience work.


Stories of Impact


Carbon, Climate, and Coffee: Organic Agroforestry Coffee as a Natural Climate Solution

This report shows the potential of environmental payments to reward farmers for their use of carbon-friendly, agroforestry practices. It is the result of three years of collaboration with our partners the CAC Pangoa, CENFROCAFE, Cool Farm Alliance, Cooperative Coffees, COMSA, Manos Campesinas, Norandino, Sol y Café, Sustainable Food Lab, and The Chain Collaborative, with generous funding from the EcoMicro program of the Inter-American Development Bank. View Executive Summary

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2021-2022 Biennial Report: Renewed Resilience Amidst a Post-Pandemic Recovery

Our biennial report covers two years of progress, highlighting our impact pathways, two client stories, financials from the years, and more.  View Report

Climate Resilience Roadmap 2022 Annual Report

Climate change is an existential crisis for smallholder farmers across the world. But with the right support, these rural communities can be powerful champions of climate action. In 2020, Root Capital launched our Climate Resilience Roadmap, a six-year strategy to support urgent climate action in rural communities by building the resilience of agricultural enterprises serving smallholder farmers. Halfway through our strategy, we have made significant progress against our goals and generated valuable insights about how best to support small and growing agricultural enterprises to ramp up climate action. Descargar reporte (Español)

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Climate Resilience Roadmap 2021 Mid-Year Report

In the first half of 2021, we expanded financing to climate action leaders; delivered tailored agronomic and climate resilience advisory services to enterprise staff; designed a new loan product to finance soil regeneration efforts; and so much more. Read about how we're advancing our Climate Resilience Roadmap in partnership with rural communities.

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Regenerative Agriculture Is Helping This Coffee Co-op Fight Climate Change

High in Rwanda’s southern mountains, farmers grow some of the highest-quality coffee on Earth. The volcanic soil gives beans a rich flavor that commands a premium price on the international market. But this specialty coffee is at risk-as are the livelihoods of the 400,000 smallholder farmers in the country who depend on it.  According to Jean Baptiste Munezero, the agronomic…

BUSINESS FIGHTS POVERTY — Leveraging the Power of Small Agricultural Businesses to Address Climate Change and Gender Inequity

In 2019, Root Capital piloted an innovative approach to strengthening women’s inclusion and climate resilience, in partnership with coffee cooperatives in Mexico and Central America. The evaluation uncovered key lessons for philanthropic and business partners. View Article

How Indonesia’s Coffee Farmers Are Protecting Its Most Critical Forest

In this remote corner of Sumatra, Indonesia, thirty-foot long pythons slither across the jungle floors as leopards prowl the canopy above. The Leuser Ecosystem covers an awe-inspiring landscape from the peaks of towering mountains to the depths of peat-rich bog lands.  This ecosystem is the last place on earth where orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers coexist, and it’s a safe…

Innovating for Climate Resilience in Honduras

Rosendo Pineda, an employee of the Montaña Verde coffee cooperative, surveys the damage shortly after Hurricane Iota. Last November, the farmers of San Luis Planes were preparing for their annual harvest when Hurricane Eta wracked the Honduran countryside. The community, already reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, had less than two weeks to recover before the even larger…

THE NEW YORK TIMES — A Plan to Help Would-Be Honduran Migrants

After two devastating storms battered Central America, many families have been left with no choice but to migrate. Ana Zacapa, Root Capital’s board chair, makes the case for local, sustainable solutions grounded in rural prosperity. View Article

Building the Capacity for Small and Growing Businesses to Improve the Climate Resilience of Women Farmers

Recognizing the impact of climate change on women and the important role of women in mitigating its effects, in 2019 Root Capital launched its first-ever climate resilience-focused Gender Equity Grants (GEGs) in Mexico and Central America. This report, prepared by Value for Women, examines the effectiveness and relative impact of this intervention. It also recommends best practices for investors, donors, and other organizations working to promote rural women’s climate resilience through agricultural enterprises.

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