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.
Bags weighing 50 kg are moved around by hand.
50 kg bags are moved to various processes by manual labour.
Workers, cashew processing plant, Togo. Loading the sorting machine.
Furnaces for steaming and drying process are fuelled by discarded husks.
Loading the steamers after sorting, a necessary step to remove the husk.
Removing husks and skin from steamed cashew nuts.
Removing husks from the nuts after steaming process.
Sorting and inspecting cashews.
Cashew husks are returned to the furnaces as fuel for the steaming and drying process.
Workers removing skin from cashews and sorting.
Removing the cashew nut skin by hand.
Loading cashews for final drying phase.
Loading the chamber for the final drying process.
Final sorting before packaging.