Manage episode 244430438 series 2000508
In 1946, post-war Britain tries to solve four very different problems at once: a labor surplus of returning military, a shortage of key foods, the need to make colonies economically independent, and a dignified way to draw down the Empire. The scheme they came up with is ... incredible. That is to say, you will not find it credible.
Tanzania. 3 million acres of rock-hard clay soil. It just screams "Let's grow peanuts there!" doesn't it.
A tale of overconfidence, bureaucratic overkill, paternalist attitudes, man vs. nature miscalculations, and the unwavering belief that white Europeans with a lot of education could solve anything given an unlimited budget.
Four years, a billion pounds (!!!), and the project managed to *use* more peanuts than it grew. They made *negative peanuts.*