For the first time in many years, large areas of the fertile Mekong delta area of South Vietnam are to be planted with crops.
SV civilians carry guns across cemetery at Vinh Kanh village
CU PAN from gravestone across graves
GV Villagers arriving to start work on canal (3 shots)
GV Men and women digging canal most using bar hands to clear mud (4 shots)
SV INTERIOR of group listening to cadre speaking
CU Cadre speaking to group
CU old man talking under picture of Ho chi Minh.
SV Prg militia girls standing guard as Cadre and party leave building.
Initials RH/1815 RH/MF/AW/1845
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Background: For the first time in many years, large areas of the fertile Mekong delta area of South Vietnam are to be planted with crops.
In the Binh Dai district, two thirds of the area of about 96 thousand acres (39, 000 hectares) left uncultivated during the war for nearly 16 years, will this year yield its first rice crop.
The district commissioner, Mr Ngo Van Cuong, said bombing, shelling and defoliation and the lack of irrigation canals had made the land unusable until now.
Now, between five and 10 thousand people have been working every day, many using nothing but their bare hands, to dig a canal about 10 miles (17 kilometres)long. The canal will remove salt water and bring fresh water into the former waste land.
The people are trying to complete the canal before April in time to sow young rice plants.
The Binh Dai district, which is about 40 miles (64 kilometres) south of Saigon, has a population of about 100,000.
Mr Cuong, said that security had been one hundred percent since the communist takeover, and there had been no reactionary activities in the region.
People from Saigon, including soldiers under the old regime who have completed re-education courses, are still being resettled in the area.