LOCOMOTIVES AND WHEAT
by Phil Bartle, PhD
LOCOMOTIVES FOR INDIA
In 1947/8, as India was getting its independence, it had a huge railway system, on which the economy depended and which helped unite the country. Britain, in its magnanimity, sent a dozen locomotives to help the railway system. It was a boon for the UK locomotive construction industry. It destroyed the fledgling Indian locomotive construction industry. Indians then had to buy their locomotives from the UK.
WHEAT FOR GHANA
Being a tropical country, Ghana never grew wheat. Wheat has historically not been a part of the Ghanaian diet. In 1957, after independence, Canada sent shiploads of "free" wheat to Ghana, helped set up a flour mill in Tema, and sent specialists to teach local business women how to build and use beehive ovens (which made excellent bread). By the seventies, during the Acheampong regime, the government made a list of "Essential Commodities" for which it would subsidise the import and keep the price down. Yes, bread was included. Ghanaians had developed a taste and a demand for bread. Today the Ghana market is great for the Canadian wheat industry, and a drain on hard earned foreign exchange for Ghana.
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