The Kachchhi Salt Pans

The sparkling fruits of the salt harvest

On India’s westernmost coast, salt production is a multi-million dollar industry, fueled by the hands of migrant laborers who move in droves each autumn to salt harvesting sites along the ocean and deep in the desert. Under the burning sun and a punitive labor contract, workers construct salt pans to gather, dry, and harvest these crystals of the sea.

This piece was broadcast on PRI’s Living on Earth in February 2013. Listen here.

A dried pan in the Rann of Kutch desert has left behind a sturdy floor of salt

A pump draws salty water from deep beneath the desert

Along the Gujarati coast, hundreds of salt pans are cut into the earth

Salty water flows through narrow channels from the sea into shallow pans to evaporate for the salt harvest

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