Freshco, a Root Capital client since 2010, is a Kenyan company that sells high-yield, drought-resistant seed, primarily maize, to small-scale farmers. Maize seed that is optimized for the climates of Kenya’s various regions can produce up to two times more grain per hectare than ordinary seed. By providing better seed to farmers, Freshco is helping to feed a nation in which nearly three million are food insecure.
Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund, grows rural prosperity by investing in small and growing agricultural businesses that build sustainable livelihoods in Africa and Latin America.
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Pangoa is a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative located in San Martín de Pangoa, Peru. Pangoa's 207 active members are small-scale farmers who cultivate shade-grown coffee, cocoa, and honey. A Root Capital client since 2006, Pangoa is well known for its innovative community programs and initiatives. The cooperative uses revenue from Fair Trade coffee sales to sponsor projects in reforestation, health, and education.
Since becoming a Root Capital client in 2010, AgroMantaro, an agro-processor of artichokes and jalapeños, has been able to increase production by 50 percent. By maintaining long-term customer relationships with buyers like General Mills, AgroMantaro provides steady incomes for hundreds of small-scale farmers and more than 600 employees at its processing plant.
In 2005, the Dukundekawa coffee cooperative, also known as Musasa, became Root Capital’s first client in Africa. Since its founding in 2004, Musasa has grown from 300 to more than 1,800 members—among them many women who were made widows by the 1994 genocide.