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Fruits of the earth: plants in the service of mankind

The Colonial Development Corporation

Photographs of a lumber mill and a pineapple canning factory in Swaziland, with people pictured working in eachPhotographs of a lumber mill and a pineapple canning factory in SwazilandSwaziland, a British protectorate since 1903, gained independence in 1968, nine years after the publication of this set of photographs.

In this item and others in this series, Britain was keen to demonstrate how its involvement in the south-east African state had led to improvements in the living standards of the people.

The Colonial Development Corporation, established in 1948 and showcased in the photographs in this item, was set up to aid agricultural development in British colonies.

In the images shown here agricultural development is represented by two factories: one concerned with the mass production of pineapples and the other with the manufacture of wood for building board.

Other images of the country in the work show a tree-planting scheme, an asbestos mine and a science class in a trade school at Mbabane. Despite these hopeful advances and developments, Swaziland is today a poor country with a low life expectancy, due in part to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

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