Access to Finance

When small and growing agricultural enterprises can access affordable financing, they have a larger impact on rural communities.


Financing catalyzes enterprise growth, which results in better incomes, services, and other support for farming families. Over more than 20 years, Root Capital has loaned $1.6 billion to agricultural enterprises worldwide, proving that these under-served businesses are bankableand that access to finance can have a ripple effect in rural communities.

The Challenge

Too many small and growing agricultural enterprises are stuck in the “missing middle”considered too big for microfinance and too small and risky for commercial banks. Without access to credit, cooperatives and other businesses are incredibly vulnerable to shocks, from COVID-19 to climate disaster.

But businesses with reliable financingtailored to their unique needs and harvest cyclesare resilient. When that financing is paired with training in critical business skills, the potential for growth and innovation is boundless.

Our Approach

Provide tailored, affordable financing to under-served businesses.

Build enterprise capacity to manage and grow credit.

Pilot blended financing models to reach early-stage, riskier businesses.

Demonstrate proven models and build the agricultural finance sector.

Our Impact

$1.6B

83%

25%

disbursed to under-served enterprises.

of our 2020 loans filled credit needs unmet by commercial lenders.

average annual growth of Root Capital clients.


Stories of Impact


Farmer and Local Trader-Led Service Delivery Models: An Analysis of Opportunities

A successful service delivery model creates value both for farmers and the service provider. This joint report analyzes 10 borrowers in Root Capital's loan portfolio, exploring the impact and economic sustainability of their farmer extension services. It also identifies opportunities for improving and scaling these services to support farmers.

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How Root Capital and the IKEA Foundation are Building the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers in East Africa

Photo: USAID/Siegfried Modola Root Capital and the IKEA Foundation are announcing a new partnership, worth €4.8 million, to help 260,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda increase their income and adapt to climate change. The grant builds on the success of a previous partnership, through which Root Capital supported dozens of Kenyan agricultural businesses, helping them break the cycle of poverty in rural communities.

APROCAM: Building Opportunities for Indigenous Cocoa Producers in the Peruvian Amazon

For decades, the indigenous Awajún people of northern Peru have struggled to overcome systemic poverty, discrimination, and violence. Now, as members of the APROCAM cooperative, they’re attaining higher incomes—and a better quality of life. In Peru’s northern Amazon, Awajún farmers struggled for years to eke out a living growing cacao on the banks of the Utcubamba River. Completely reliant on…

How These Mayan Farmers Are Modernizing a Two-Thousand-Year-Old Tradition

For the Maya, bees and their honey have always been sacred. Bees are a symbol of fertility and abundance; kaab, the Mayan word for bee, can also be translated as “force,” “land,” or “world.” But for the Mayan producer-members of the EDUCE cooperative, honey isn’t just a part of their cultural heritage. It’s also their livelihood.

Ketiara: Independent Financing Options Enable Exponential Growth in Indonesia

Twenty years ago, Ibu Rahmah worked as a small-scale trader in northern Sumatra, purchasing a few pounds of hand-picked coffee cherries from individual farmers and reselling them to individual traders. In 2009, she organized 37 coffee farmers into the Ketiara cooperative. Less than a decade later, under her chairmanship, it has grown to be one of Indonesia’s most successful and…

C.A.C. Pangoa: A Peruvian Coffee Cooperative Plans for Long-Term Success

Throughout Latin America, the coffee industry was crippled by the spread of coffee leaf rust—known as la roya—in 2013. Yields fell by as much as 80 percent. Some cooperatives failed. But at the foothills of the Andes mountains, C.A.C. Pangoa had developed the vision and tools to help farmers weather the storm. Pangoa first became a Root Capital client in…

The Village Nut Company: A Thriving Macadamia Processor Attracts New Talent in Kenya

Like many of Root Capital’s clients, The Village Nut Company operates on razor-thin margins. Credit is essential for the enterprise to be able to purchase macadamia nuts at a fair price and pay farmers on time. When we made our first loan to Village Nut in 2015—$450,000 in trade credit—the business was working with 6,000 producers and earning $1 million…

Sweetening the Deal for Cocoa and Honey Producers: Root Capital’s New Partnership with the Trafigura Foundation and Puma Energy Foundation

Honey and chocolate are made to satisfy the sweet tooth, but these treats aren’t always a sweet deal for the smallholder farmers that produce them.

To Rebuild After Conflict, Latin American Farmers Need An Alternative to the Drug Trade

In this month’s Root Capital Roundup, we explore how the illicit drug trade affects farming communities in three Latin American countries where we work… and how agricultural businesses offer people a peaceful alternative.

Unlocking Opportunity for Those Who Need It Most

Two billion. That’s the number of people in rural communities who are struggling to survive on less than $2 per day. Many of them are farming to feed the rest of the world, yet they aren’t getting enough to eat. Many live hundreds of miles from accessible markets, without the roads to reach them. With few choices, they’re forced to sell their hard-earned crops at rock-bottom prices. But there’s a way out of this cycle of grinding poverty.