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consider this strategy

Posted: October 9 2012
by Jesse Last
JNearly 2 billion people living in poverty engage in agriculture as a means of survival, and over 1 billion live within the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. Excluded from formal markets and unable to access agricultural inputs, market information and credit, many rural poor adopt survival techniques such as illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture that degrade the environment and contribute to global warming.
At the same time, these small-scale farmers are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, from drought and flooding to soil degradation and crop pests and diseases.
While daunting, these challenges can be met. At Root Capital, we believe that facilitating the growth of climate-smart agricultural businesses that aggregate hundreds and sometimes thousands of small-scale farmers can break cycles of rural poverty and environmental degradation.
Over the past decade, we’ve financed hundreds of small and growing businesses employing sustainable approaches such as agroforestry, organic production, and responsible harvesting of natural products. Scaling these and other climate-smart practices at the smallholder level can maintain the integrity of valuable landscapes while creating more prosperous and climate-resilient livelihoods for farmers, their families and communities.
Agroforestry in Chiapas, Mexico
Triunfo Verde, a Mexican coffee cooperative and Root Capital client since 2006, is a powerful case in point.
The indigenous farmers of Triunfo Verde live within the Chiapas buffer zone of El Triunfo Biosphere, Central America’s largest continuous cloud forest, which serves as a refuge to dozens of endangered and endemic plant and animal species. Like many of the places where Root Capital works, the region is biodiversity rich but economically poor, and its inhabitants are highly vulnerable to a changing climate that threatens ecosystems and the livelihoods that they sustain.
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