Sourcing the Touloucouna seeds in Guinea-Bissau
20 August 2015
I went back to Cassolol, Guinea-Bissau, in late July 2015, on the back of Issa’s bike. We hit the muddy road through pouring rains, getting stuck a few times, and finally had to stop to seek shelter during a torrent.
I worked with the women to crack the nuts they had collected so they could be dried in the moments of sun between cloudbursts. We are working together to establish a supply chain where the women are not only paid a fair price for their work but will become micro-entrepreneurs ultimately in control of the whole process. Our goal is to get each of them a manual cold press that they can use in their own homes and establish a workers’ cooperative that handles the collection and distribution of their production.
That’s really the hardest part. The village is miles in on a footpath. The shortest distance is to the river where we will transport the nuts by pirogue, then switch to a 4×4 for another 20 miles of mud track before we get to a real road; Another reason for producing the oil in the villages.
Any money we raise above our £4000 goal will go to the next phase of the project which is to build a boat to access the oil near the village, but that’s a story for next time.