While we’re on the subject of cocoa (see my previous post) I had an opportunity recently to photograph the work of Uganda’s first and only chocolate producer, Pink Foods Industries. While farmers have been cultivating cocoa in this East African nation for decades, Pink Foods is the first Ugandan company to process the beans into a finished consumer product. My client, Shared Interest, is financing the expansion of the company into a bigger processing center. As a fair trade ethical investment firm, Shared Interest was certainly more concerned with seeing the people behind the product, rather than the product itself. Once these pods are harvested, they’re split open to reveal a white, sweet, fleshy fruit, delicious to the taste, enveloping the cocoa beans. Many farmers make a habit of savoring this fruit as they work. Once this sweet flesh is removed, the beans are spread out in the sun, fermented, roasted,[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "business"
Passion fruit, that is. Mabel is breaking Uganda’s gender barriers as a small business owner and passion fruit farmer.Read More
Africa will never develop without the expansion of the free market. Through small and medium sized loans and business mentoring, Accion gives people in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing areas of the world the financial tools they need to improve their lives through development of their businesses, thus expanding the free market one entrepreneur at a time. I recently spent a week in Tanzania with some of those who benefit from Accion’s loan programs. The size of their enterprises varied greatly, from the young mother selling fruit in the market to the middle-aged man and his chicken-feed factory that employs dozens. All have benefited from services that are still scarce across the developing world: access to finance and capital to start a business. Tanzania’s GDP is growing by 6.5% annually and almost no markets are saturated. My assignment here coincided with the state visit of President Obama, whose remarks here[…]Read More
My most recent video production was shot near Exxon’s oil fields in southern Chad. For women, Chad is one of the most challenging nations in which to live. But in the communities around the southern town of Doba, women are defying the status quo by becoming the leading business people of the area. Thanks to the successes of Africare‘s Initiative for Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs Program (IEEWEP), women are improving the livelihoods of their families and using their excess capital to begin new ventures. Above, women participate in literacy classes outside Doba. While I look back on my time in Chad fondly, there was no shortage of difficulties associated with the making of this video. Chad is the epitome of what most westerners think of Africa: hot, humid, hard to find a good meal, and truckloads of men with big guns that I couldn’t film lest I run the[…]Read More
I’ve recently been impressed with the work of the agricultural NGO One Acre Fund. While on assignment in Kenya for business magazine “FIVE,” I documented the organization’s work with small farmers. These farmers usually cultivate no more than approximately one acre of land and therefore are usually the most in need. While OAF works in both Kenya and Rwanda, these photographs are from western Kenya’s Webuye district. Why is One Acre Fund featured in a business magazine? Its model differs from that of most non-profit organizations. Instead of handing out improved fertilizers and seeds, farmers are given loans for these things and organize in groups under the supervision of a extension worker to learn how to use them. The groups then bring their harvests together at the end of the season when One Acre Fund acts as a bulk selling agent, thus commanding higher prices for the farmers. In 2009,[…]Read More