Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cashew nuts… northern Togo

Finding the gems…. Cashew nuts in northern Togo.

There seems to be no easy way to process them.  As with most agricultural products in the developing world, a great deal of manual labour is needed.  Cashew nuts are especially difficult, and the complex process provides much needed jobs for the surrounding communities.  Although parts of the process are mechanized (the initial sorting of the product from the farm before removing the husk), the most efficient way is by hand.  At many stages the cashews must be sorted for quality and size and a keen eye is still required, making the cashew truly the gem of nuts.

Deliveries from farms are moved into the factory for processing.

Deliveries from farms are moved into the factory for processing.

Bags weighing 50 kg are moved around by hand.

Bags weighing 50 kg are moved around by hand.

50 kg bags are moved to various processes by manual labour.

50 kg bags are moved to various processes by manual labour.

Workers, cashew processing plant, Togo.

Workers, cashew processing plant, Togo. Loading the sorting machine.

Furnaces for steaming and drying process are fuelled by discarded husks.

Furnaces for steaming and drying process are fuelled by discarded husks.

Loading the steamers after sorting, a necessary step to remove the husk.

Loading the steamers after sorting, a necessary step to remove the husk.

Removing husks and skin from steamed cashew nuts.

Removing husks and skin from steamed cashew nuts.

Removing husks from the nuts after steaming process.

Removing husks from the nuts after steaming process.

Sorting and inspecting cashews.

Sorting and inspecting cashews.

Cashew husks are returned to the furnaces as fuel for the steaming and drying process.

Cashew husks are returned to the furnaces as fuel for the steaming and drying process.

Workers removing skin from cashews and sorting.

Workers removing skin from cashews and sorting.

Removing the cashew nut skin by hand.

Removing the cashew nut skin by hand.

Loading cashews for final drying phase.

Loading cashews for final drying phase.

Loading the chamber for the final drying process.

Loading the chamber for the final drying process.

Final sorting before packaging

Final sorting before packaging.

 

Mumbai vendors at night

Mumbai vendors at night

As night descends on Mumbai, the office workers and day workers leave the city, but Mumbai is a city that never sleeps.  Many of the small shops along the side streets continue their business, casting warm, welcoming light into the night.  It is mostly men on the streets this time of day, often congregating at small kiosks to chat with friends and business owners.  I was drawn to these pockets of light and colour, more of the complex fabric that is India.

Food vendors, Mumbai

Mumbai vendors at night

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