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1958 speech on Irrigation

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During the past year, the abrupt cessation of rainfall during the growing season caused considerable damage to Ethiopia's crops. This experience has demonstrated that it is essential that the rivers of Our country be devoted to irrigation, so that the food needs of Our ever-growing population will no longer be left at the mercy of the whims and caprices of the elements.

We trust that the Agricultural College at Alem Maya, which We inaugurated last January, and the Agricultural Technical School at Jimma, will greatly assist in the introduction of modern agricultural methods into Our country. The shortage of arable land for the production of foodstuffs for Our people in Eritrea has caused Us to initiate a study for the damming of the Zula River for irrigation purposes. This Study has now been completed and bids have been requested for the construction of the project. This under taking should prove of immense value to Our people in Eritrea, for in addition to providing employment for many of them, it will also, We hope, instruct them in the manifold benefits of co-operation and unity in holding property in common and working together for its development and utilisation.