ETHIOPIA - ENORMOUS GRANARY POTENTIAL
Addis Ababa, June 1964. It is claimed that Ethiopia could be the granary of the Middle East and of Africa and supply over one hundred million people with food and clothing, if it were properly exploited. The Awash River Basin is probably the area that could best be developed to achieve this goal, extending, as it does, over 37 million acres of the most fertile land in the country. Consequently, the Government has made considerable efforts to obtain information on the water potentials of the river and its tributaries both for irrigation and hydroelectric power. A three-year survey costing $1.3 million was launched in 1961 by the Government with the assistance of the United Nations Special Fund and the expert advice of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to investigate the potentials of the Awash River Basin and to determine the suitability of the soils within the area for irrigation farming.
Ethiopian technicians in a cable car estimate the flow of the Awash River by a mechanism submerged in the water and suspended from the car. The various studies made of the river are to determine the discharge, level and siltation conditions.