Non-profit agricultural lender Root Capital announced that it has achieved a major milestone reaching US$100 million in active loans. In a statement released earlier this month, the company said that the more than 270 businesses in its portfolio are connecting farm families to reliable, well-paying markets. “Behind each client in our growing portfolio is an average of 1000 farmers who are gaining market access and receiving higher prices for their products, enabling them to make critical investments in their children's education and their homes,” said Willy Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital, in a statement. Root Capital said that since 1999 it has disbursed nearly US$800 million in credit to 530 businesses, representing 1.1 million smallholder farmers. The company said that the 150 individuals and institutions, which have invested in the farmers, have received 100 per cent repayment. “From here we continue to push the frontier of agricultural finance to reach more of the world’s 450 million smallholder farmers,” said Foote, in the statement. “This milestone is a valuable proof point that will help attract more capital to this critical market.” Root Capital supports environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America through the provision of capital, financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Root Capital’s clients produce dozens of different agricultural products, including coffee, cocoa, and cashews, fresh fruits and vegetables, and wild-harvested products like natural gums and shea butter.