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Supporting Farmers, Sustaining the Planet

Supporting Farmers, Sustaining the Planet
In July 2013, the Root Capital communications team traveled to Peru to visit with three coffee cooperatives. These photos are from a visit with Chirinos cooperative in Chirinos, Peru.


Rising temperatures. Devastating storms. Drought. To farmers, this is more than a weather report: it’s a matter of survival.

Smallholder farmers live on the front lines of our changing climate. They depend on increasingly-depleted soil and drying rivers to make a living. Out of desperation, some resort to tactics—like slash-and-burn agriculture—that compound the damage.

But farmers don’t have to be victims or perpetrators of environmental destruction. With support, they can become environmental stewards.

One farmer can make a small impact. Root Capital works with agricultural businesses that reach thousands of farmers, multiplying that impact. These businesses provide the market access, financial incentives, and training to help farmers adopt sustainable practices. With this support, farmers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining—and even raising—their incomes.

Idelfo Anderson Mijahuanca a farmer with C.A.C. Chirinos, stands on his property in Chirinos, Peru.

C.A.C. Chirinos, a coffee cooperative in northern Peru supported by Root Capital, recognizes the need for urgent action. Farmer Ignacio Mijahuanca Nolasco puts it in stark terms: “We depend on coffee to survive. This is the only plant that sustains us.”

To boost resilience of both farmers and their land, C.A.C. Chirinos invested in the replanting of aging coffee trees, crop diversification, and even a state-of-the-art organic fertilizer plant. Members like Ignacio have not only fortified their soil and reduced chemical use, but increased their yields up to 60 percent.

We prioritize agricultural businesses in landscapes facing environmental crisis. Eighty percent of our lending is in biodiversity hotspots—regions with exceptional biodiversity threatened by habitat loss and other human interventions. By supporting the growth of sustainable businesses, we are helping turn these areas back from the brink.

Copiasuro1In Guatemala, the Copiasuro honey cooperative runs reforestation projects to maintain a healthy ecosystem for farmers and their bees.

We provide loans for investment in sustainable practices—like composting and organic production—that boost revenue while fortifying farmers against climate shocks. In 2016, 38 of our clients contributed to meaningful reforestation initiatives, planting 100 or more trees each. Not only does this help remove harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it’s smart agriculture: Crops grown under shade trees can fetch higher prices at lower cost.

We supply training in environmental management. By instructing agronomists on how to confront urgent environmental challenges, like disease outbreaks or climate change, we build the business’s capacity to offer technical assistance to their farmers. This includes women farmers, who are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change because of their limited access to land, information, and mobility.

By joining Root Capital, you can strengthen businesses that are committed to smart, earth-friendly agriculture. With your support, we can sustain hardworking farmers and the planet on which we all depend.

Help advance the fight against climate change. Donate today.

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