Proven Results

Root Capital actively seeks out enterprises that invest in their farmers and employees. They don’t just want to pay back a loan, they want to pay it forward.

We conduct deep-dive impact studies to better understand the role that agricultural enterprises play in improving rural lives and livelihoods. When agricultural enterprises are able to consistently pay their suppliers more for their crops, our impact studies show that farmers invest in education, healthcare, and nutritious food for their families. 

Root Capital helps these businesses generate even more impact in their communities:


average annual growth of businesses that work with Root Capital


more income earned by farmers and employees affiliated with Root Capital clients, on average


of Root Capital's lending clients gained access to commercial finance within three years

Findings from across our portfolio show:


of 2020 lending clients invest in community education, health, and infrastructure


of 2020 lending clients promote climate-smart agriculture


of 2020 lending clients actively promote gender inclusion activities

By sharing these results, we hope to be a resource for our peer organizations as we learn how to collectively address the challenges facing agricultural enterprises and farming families.

Learn more in our impact studies

Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Coffee Cooperatives in Chiapas, Mexico

This study confirms that affiliation with Root Capital services, meaning being a member of a cooperative that is client of Root Capital or selling coffee to a business that is client of Root Capital, increased the average income of coffee-farming households in Chiapas, Mexico by $6,188 MXN ($335 USD) per harvest.

Download Report

Sorghum farmer tending to an open-air field filled with waist-high sorghum. The farmers' face is covered by a hat. Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Sorghum in Ghana

This report analyzes the impact of Root Capital lending and advisory services on a sorghum aggregator in Ghana and the impact of that enterprise on its suppliers and local community. Read on for exciting findings about Root Capital's engagement with the business.

Download Report

A woman stands in a group holding a sack of sorghum. She's wearing bright colors and is smiling. The background has many sacks of sorghum. Evaluation of Root Capital’s Financial Literacy Training Program for Sorghum Farmers in Ghana

In 2018, Root Capital launched a pilot program of a Farmer Financial Literacy training with sorghum farmers in Ghana and conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate its impacts. We present this report on the programs' findings and lessons learned for future interventions.

Download Report

Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Oil Palm in Ghana

This evaluation analyzes the extent to which affiliation with an agriculture business supported by Root Capital's lending and advisory services—in this case, an oil palm aggregator in Ghana called Serendipalm—improves the wellbeing of smallholder farmers. With insights directly from the business' supplying producers, the report highlights the impacts of affiliation with Serendipalm on farmer livelihoods, as well as lessons about the efficacy of Root Capital's engagement with the business.

Download Report

Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Cocoa Cooperatives in Peru

This study assesses the impact of Root Capital-financed businesses in the Peruvian cocoa sector on farmer livelihoods and gender inclusion using a retrospective comparison group matching technique.

Download Report

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.

Download Report

Gender Equity Grants: Evaluating Key Benefits for Businesses, Workers, and Farmers

Rural women often face gendered barriers that limit their ability to be productive, control assets and incomes, and benefit equitably from their hard work. In 2016, Root Capital began disbursing Gender Equity Grants to client agricultural businesses to implement strategies aimed at improving women’s overall quality of life and their representation in the business. In this summary, we present an assessment of these activities and the reported results.

Download Summary

Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives

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. Download Executive Summary

Download Impact Study

Case Study: Tziscao

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.

Download Impact Study


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.

Download Impact Study