Sometimes, the smallest things can change a life. In rural Uganda, the lives of more than 900 farmers have been changed by something very small, very spicy, and very valuable: the Capsicum frutescens, or the African bird’s eye pepper.
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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A longtime Root Capital client, C.A.C. Chirinos coffee cooperative provides top-notch services to its members in the Cajamarca region of Peru and premium coffee to specialty buyers in the United States and Europe. Confronted with challenges like climate change and market volatility, C.A.C. Chirinos has taken many proactive measures to ensure the continued resilience, productivity and profitability of its 600 members.
Copiasuro is an association of fair trade honey producers located in the highlands of Guatemala. One of the first participants in Root Capital’s financial training program, Copiasuro has enjoyed a growth in volume, sales and community impact in recent years. Today, the cooperative boasts a membership of 175 beekeepers who manage, on average, more than 75 beehives each.
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.