Agroville Program

Because of growing instability and Vietcong insurgency in rural areas, President Ngo Dinh Diem launched the Agroville Program in 1959. Its chief purpose was to protect Vietnamese peasants from Vietcong terrorism by relocating them to secure areas controlled by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The government of South Vietnam built several new communities as part of the Agroville Program, complete with schools, medical clinics, and electricity, but financial incentives for peasants were inadequate and peasants had no desire to leave ancestral homelands. In many cases ARVN had to forcibly remove peasants to the new Agroville communities, and the program inspired bitter resentment against the Diem regime. The Agroville Program was abandoned in 1961 when the government committed its resources to the Strategic Hamlet Program.