Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? I recently visited several villages in Burkina Faso and Kenya where the primary sources of livelihood fall from the sky, later to be collected from the ground and sold on the market – macadamia and shea nuts. Okay, it’s not always quite that easy, especially for shea nuts, which must go through a rigorous production process, shown below, to be made into a marketable product like shea nut butter or shea nut oil. The photographs shown here were taken for Shared Interest, an investment company in the UK financing fair trade growers and producers in the developing world. They are copyrighted, so please don’t use them without permission.Read More
Post Tagged with: "organic"
On my whirlwind five-day trip to Uganda last month I managed to cover a lot of ground in both the east and west of the country. Squeezed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, Uganda may look like a dwarf on the map, but it’s actually more than double the size of my home state of Virginia. Combining that with some poor road conditions means it can take 12 hours or more to get from one side to the other. Bukonzo Organic Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU) is a fair trade coffee producer based in the town of Kasese, Uganda. Its coffee farmers, however, grow their crop in the nearby Rwenzori Mountains. Shared Interest invests in BOCU and other fair trade producers around the globe. The Rwenzori Mountains were known to the ancient world as the Mountains of Moon for their snow-capped white peaks. (Sadly there’s little of these[…]Read More
My most recent video assignment is truly a story of success. The Kimaro family has graduated from poverty thanks to the programs of the environmental NGO Plant With Purpose. Several years ago Jacob & Joyce Kimaro were small farmers living in poverty and trying to make ends meet on the foothills of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Things became even more difficult when Mr. Kimaro’s brother and sister-in-law passed away, and they had to take in seven extra children. It was then that the Kimaros joined VICOBA, the Village Community Bank organized by Plant With Purpose. There the family received training in sustainable agriculture practices, organic farming, and earning income while preserving the environment. VICOBA members are also able to save money jointly and access credit each week. Today the Kimaros not only have their bills paid on time, but are eating healthy and balanced diets while preserving their natural surroundings.Read More