It’s 6am at the Kwasadala banana auction at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, and tens of haulage lorries are loading up huge branches of green bananas to be transported across Tanzania. Most of the people here are women. Unsmiling, no-nonsense, tenacious, travelling hundreds of miles each week to trade. Aged from 12 to 80 years, they know their customers well, hoiking the huge branches of bananas onto their backs and into sacks.

“I’m looking for a certain texture, a shape, and a level of maturity, a taste,” explains trader Alysa Mahel. “I come here three days a week, and sell the other three ...


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