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Peace & Recovery

Peace & Recovery

Fully 40 percent of armed conflicts that end in a negotiated settlement revert to violence within ten years. In countries such as Rwanda, northern Uganda, Colombia, Guatemala, and Liberia, agriculture frequently offers the most promising immediate source of livelihood for the majority of the population.

Root Capital invests in businesses in countries that have recently experienced conflict or disaster. Through targeted lending, Root Capital promotes rural economic development and helps vulnerable populations recover.

Just as poverty can lead to conflict, economic reconstruction can contribute to peace and recovery. Private investment is slow to enter post-conflict or post-disaster regions. Yet, because the majority of people in these regions are farmers, and because the industrial base takes longer to rebuild, agriculture is one of the few sectors that can rapidly absorb large amounts of labor and thereby rebuild sustainable livelihoods.

Stories

  • With towering oaks, gushing waterfalls and long green stretches of bountiful coffee trees, Guatemala’s Maya Ixil region is a place of lyrical beauty. But listen closely enough, and the lyrics tell an entirely different story – a story of an ugly past marked by heartbreaking violence.

  • COOPCAB, a Fair Trade coffee cooperative and Root Capital client, operates in one of Haiti’s few remaining tracts of rainforest in a country where less than 1.5 percent of the land is forested. Through its reforestation program and purchase of fairly priced specialty coffee, COOPCAB provides a powerful link between environmental conservation and economic benefit for its 5,000 producer members.

  • Raymisa is a Peruvian producer and exporter of sustainable textiles, furniture, and home décor products. A Root Capital client since 2007, Raymisa provides traditional artisans with markets for their goods, increasing incomes for hundreds of artisans and their families. This helps to stabilize rural communities and to ensure that Peruvian crafts will be kept alive by a new generation of artisans.

  • 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.

  • Maraba, is a Fair Trade Certified coffee cooperative located in southern Rwanda. Initially established in 1999 with just 70 small-scale producers, Maraba, with Root Capital financing, now has more than 1,300 registered members. Almost 40 percent of Maraba’s members are women, the large majority of whom are widows from the Rwandan genocide.

  • Founded in 2009 by South African cotton entrepreneur Bruce Robertson, the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC) is stimulating cotton growth in Uganda's impoverished Gulu district and creating economic opportunities for more than 40,000 smallholder farmers. GADC has received more than $3.5 million in financing over the past two years.  Lending to GADC positively impacts the company's organic cotton output and helps civil war refugees in the region improve their livelihoods.

  • The Liberian Women’s Sewing Project (LWSP) is a sustainable apparel manufacturer based in Monrovia, Liberia. Established in 2009, the company is part-owned and operated by Liberian women. The organization directs 75 percent of its profits toward community development projects. The remaining profits stay within the enterprise, allowing each worker to build equity over time. In 2010, Root Capital was LWSP’s first source of financing.

  • Gumutindo, which translates to “excellent coffee” in the local Lugisu language, is a second-level Ugandan coffee cooperative founded in 2003. Located on the slopes of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda, it markets the coffee of six smaller primary cooperatives directly to Fair Trade and organic buyers in Europe and North America. With Root Capital financing, revenue has increased from $473 thousand to over $3 million, with payments to producers more than doubling.