Archive for May, 1947

50 YEARS AGO

This appeared in TA Issue 57 (1 May 1997) Stupid wordpress doesn’t allow dates pre 1960 any more ?

Ahead of all other stories in the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ during the first part of 1947 were those concerned with the ‘Groundnut Scheme’ which ended in disaster several years later. These are some of the stories:

January 25, 1947: The first experts from the United Africa Company (UAC), the company selected by the British government to operate the groundnut scheme, have arrived in Dar es Salaam. UAC Managing Director Mr F Samuel said “I believe that in a hundred years’ time the historians of the development of Africa will regard the beginning of this scheme as marking the critical date in the history of agricultural progress in tropical Africa. The initial stage will be the development of 150,000 acres of land mostly near Mpwapwa ….. speed is of the essence because of the world-wide shortage of fats”.

February 8, 1947: The biggest aeroplane ever to land at Dar es Salaam airport arrived yesterday carrying a party of groundnut experts. The British government has issued a White Paper saying that ‘this scheme is agriculturally sound; subject to reasonable assumptions, it involves no unjustifiable financial risk …… a production of 600,000 tons of groundnuts per annum can be expected by 1950:

April 8, 1947: The Dar es Salaam wharf was busier than ever yesterday when the first of over 500 heavy tractors for the groundnut scheme were off-loaded; they were still caked in mud from other lands (for they are not new); some have come from as far away as the Philippines …..

April 12, 1947: A lonely spot on the far south coast of Tanganyika, whose only claim to fame is that it was once filmed as the background for the film ‘Blue Lagoon’ will shortly become ‘Port Peanut’. This follows a recommendation that Mto Mtwara, a natural harbour on the Mikindani Bay should be the site of the new port to handle groundnut traffic. The total cost of railway and port will be £3 million – four times the original estimate.

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