Root Capital was founded in 1999 with a commitment to raising incomes for farmers working in the most vulnerable regions of the world. But instead of working with farmers directly, we chose to focus on the agricultural businesses that create economic opportunities for hundreds, or even thousands, of farmers at a time.
Back then, there were many NGOs and government programs that brought essential services directly to farmers — but there weren’t many that supported the enterprises that kept those farmers in business. There weren’t many commercial banks serving these enterprises either. Frankly, these businesses were chronically underserved…and it was a huge problem.
But we saw something in these businesses that others didn’t. We saw potential. And 17 years later, we’ve seen them demonstrate that potential in spades. To us, one statistic proves this more than any other:
Because agricultural businesses are engines of impact in rural communities,
every dollar donated to Root Capital unlocks $25 in income for smallholder farmers.
At Root Capital, your gifts help generate this astounding effect every day — because you fuel the rural businesses that serve as engines of impact in the areas where they operate. These businesses offer farmers higher and more stable incomes. They create jobs in regions where employment is scarce. They invest of the long-term success of the people they depend on. And when they succeed, these businesses generate positive impact that cascades outward and raises up entire rural communities.
Every time you take out your wallet, you make a choice. You choose between equally appealing investments, competing priorities, whether to save or splurge. But very rarely — if ever — are you offered the opportunity to put your money towards something that will generate twenty-five times the return.
With your donation, you can unlock that return for a smallholder farmer in Africa, Latin America, or Indonesia. Here’s how that works:
Rural businesses pay farmers fairly. Until recently, Janet Karea Mutuura, pictured here, grew small amounts of crops on other farmers’ land and sold them in local markets for next to nothing. The average farmer in the region where Janet lives earns just $1.25 per day. But when she started growing sorghum for our client Sorghum Pioneer Agencies, everything changed. Sorghum Pioneer Agencies collects harvests from 8,000 farmers and sells them in large bundles — guaranteeing that farmers like Janet can earn higher incomes than they ever could by selling their crops on their own. Your contribution helps put money in the hand of farmers like Janet.
Rural businesses can offer farmers financial services they can’t get anywhere else. Asociación Chajulense is a coffee cooperative in the rural highlands of Guatemala, where many people lack access to formal banks. This business helps farmers access the basic financial services that we take for granted. Now that they have access to credit, the producer-members of Asociación Chajulense can borrow the money that they need to purchase fertilizer or tools before they’re paid at harvest, launch a side business to diversify their incomes when coffee prices are low, or replace dead or diseased coffee trees. Your gift can ensure that businesses like Asociación Chajulense can offer farmers the services, knowledge and resources that allow them to thrive.
Rural businesses train their farmers in the skills they need to succeed. Our client Pangoa raises incomes for nearly 700 coffee and cocoa farmers like Antenor Chimanca Mahuanca, left, in the central Amazon of Peru. In addition, Pangoa offers them invaluable training on how to prune properly, prevent disease, and fertilize their crops. Pangoa also offers its farmers training on sustainable farming practices, ensuring that the cooperative can maintain its organic certification and continue to receive higher prices on the market. Your donation helps businesses like Pangoa guarantee that their farmers have stable sources of income for years to come.
Offering higher prices for crops. Investing in the health and education of farming families. Bringing financial services to the unbanked. Giving farmers the skills they need to maximize their current productivity and succeed long-term. When businesses have the resources they need to invest in their farmers’ success like this, everyone wins — especially farmers like Janet and Antenor who watch their incomes rise, their families thrive, and their communities flourish.
By supporting these businesses with financing and training, Root Capital has helped over 630 businesses like these create jobs, incomes and choices for more than one million farm families throughout Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
Your generous contributions serve the agricultural businesses that need them the most. With your gifts, we can all help those engines of impact keep turning. And when these businesses raise farmer incomes, everything changes: women and young people can exercise their rights, the world’s poorest families get enough to eat, post-conflict nations can build sustained peace, and rural communities can forgo destructive agricultural practices in favor of preserving the planet.
You donate to Root Capital. We use your donation to support rural businesses. Those rural businesses invest in the farmers they depend on. Those farmers see their incomes rise. Together, we change the world.