For FOGA it starts with nurseries. We support communities to start a nursery where seeds from the acacia trees are planted and grown to seedlings. After three to six months the seedlings are planted in the soil.
After four years growing the acacia tree is big enough to produce gum. Before our farmers start with their job, they change clothes. With overall, mask, boots and gloves the farmer is well protected against the thorns, insects, and dust. The farmer takes a Sonky. This is a large stick with at the end a metal tool to cut in the bark of the tree.
After two weeks on the carves in the bark gum came out of the tree. With the same Sonky, the farmer carefully gets it from the tree. He gathers the gum on a clean plastic canvas. When all the trees are harvested, the farmer brings the gum into the gum store of the cooperative. The storekeeper notes the weight and the name of the farmer and stores the gum in the building.
FOGA’s driver comes along to get bags with gum acacia from the stores. He brings it to the cleaning factory. In the cleaning factory the gum goes first through a hoover belt. Then gum is sorted and filtered automatically. Finally, the gum runs over a running belt where our factory workers check on any left dirties.
If the gum is cleaned, transport starts to our processing factory. Here it could pass two different processing lines. Or the gum is processed into spray dry powder or it becomes instant powder. A big spray dry plant dissolves the gum in water, filters the water and then spray it in a tower. This ends in spray dry powder which is used in several industries.
For instant powder, first the gum will be crushed to fine powder. Then the fine powder is sprayed in our granulator. At the end of the process instant powder comes out and is packed in bags to be send to our customers. The instant powder is gum acacia which is immediately dissolvable in water.