The complexity of the coffee rust crisis requires tight integration across government, business, international development and the finance sector. To that end, my organization, Root Capital, has launched the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative (CFRI), a multifaceted and collaborative venture that channels investment to coffee farmers at the base of the value chain.
Despite countless tragedies, Colombia's long-conflicted coffee lands have recently transformed in ways that are driving hope, optimism, and improved livelihoods farther into the countryside than ever before. In fact, many farmer cooperatives in the region are confronting and managing through issues like coffee leaf rust disease on their own terms and are leading a veritable revolution in crop quality.
I sat down with Andrew Stern of Dalberg Advisors to talk about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart—how to spur a financial market to serve the unmet needs of the world’s 450 million poorest farmers while preserving our natural resources.
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.
Colin Powell once said that “capital is a coward,” and the data shows that foreign private investment generally waits a decade before re-entering post-conflict countries. Yet the world can’t wait that long. This blog post is about capital becoming more courageous in places like Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where economic reconstruction can contribute mightily to the transition to peace and security, even in regions still ravaged by war.
Malian business Produits du Sud offers a microcosm for how such small and growing agricultural businesses can foster long-term peace and prosperity in one of the most troubled regions of the world.
Fruiteq is a private enterprise that sources Fair Trade- and organic-certified mangoes from 830 small-scale farmers in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast. This is the first case study Root Capital has conducted in the fresh fruits and vegetables sector. It provides practical lessons on the appropriate loan structure and risks particular to the value chain.