In Ethiopia, an exhibition explaining the recently-launched National Revolutionary Development Campaign has been opened by Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam.
In Ethiopia, an exhibition explaining the recently-launched National Revolutionary Development Campaign has been opened by Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. the exhibition's motto is "Let's Produce", and it was set up to let the public know more about the development campaign, which aims to boost both industry and agriculture. Ethiopia's economy is largely based on farming with almost half its production at subsistence levels. The country's resources have been depleted by persistent drought and wars in the Ogaden Desert and against Eritrean secessionist guerrillas in the north.
SYNOPSIS: Visitors can see exhibits showing various tasks set down to be carried out in primary and secondary industries under the Development Campaign, and some of the equipment to be used. There are models depicting the three ares of the exhibition: a wildlife conservation scheme; and plans to raise efficiency in rural co-operative communities and in industry, with some emphasis on handicrafts. Colonel Mengistu says the country's primary aim now is reconstruction and building up the economy.
Ethiopia's main exports are farm produce, with coffee and oil-seeds being the major crops. More than forty percent of cash crops are produced on government-controlled farms and estates, which are run by more than twenty-five thousand peasant associations. Industrial production accounts for only six percent of Ethiopia's Gross National Product, while the fishing and forestry industries are also small and undeveloped.
Savage droughts in recent years have made irrigation one of the most urgent priorities in the development campaign. There are some three million hectares (7.4 million acres) of land in Ethiopia with a potential for irrigation. But, so far, a mere three percent of this land -- or one thousandth of the country's entire land mass -- have been put to use. When launching the campaign recently, Colonel Megistu lamented that just under eighty million hectares (197.684,000 acres) were suitable for cultivation but only eleven percent of this land ha been cultivated. He also pointed out that the country had harnessed only two percent of its potential for hydro-electric power.