- Title: ALGERIA: THE AGRARIAN REVOLUTION CHANGING THE PATTERN OF LIFE IN ALGERIA.
- Date: 25th July 1973
- Summary: 1. GV crowd at Bou Ismail land giving ceremony 0.3 2. SV Band and dancers (2 shots) 0.13 3. CU Musician. 0.14 4. SV Crowd watches dance. (3 shots) 0.27 5. SV Official arrives to hand out scrolls. 0.30 6. SV Audience. 0.34 7. SCU Parchments haded over (3 shots) 0.46 8. GVs and SVs Buildings going up (5 shots) 1.07 9. CU Tractor ploughing field. (Bou Ismail) 1.15 10. SV Peasants sifting soil (2 shots) 1.26 11. CU and SV Irrigation tap turned 1.39 12. SV Farmers harvesting crop (2 shots) 1.49 13. SV Women harvesting tomatoes (2 shots) 2.03 14. SV Boys carrying crates of tomatoes 2.10 15. SV crates stacked 2.18 16. SV and CU tomatoes 2.29 17. SV and GV Crates leaded onto lorry. 2.40 Initials AE/15.50 AE/16.54 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 9th August 1973 13:00
- Location: BOU ISMAIL, NEAR ALGIERS, AND KHEMIS EL KHECHNA, ALGERIA
- Country: Algeria
- Reuters ID: LVANW5RN48SSVPACNIENGNT9AM7
- Story Text: The whole pattern of life is changing in Algeria. Framing and industrial revolutions are taking place at the same time.
President Houari Boumedienne's Government has been giving the country's farmland to poor peasants for nearly two years now. "The land to those who work it" is the slogan of this agrarian revolution and 60,000 peasants have received a slice of land so far.
The "handover" takes place at a ceremony when a Government official hands the peasant a scroll telling him 45 acres (18 hectares) of land that he may have worked for years are now his. He then becomes a member of one of the Government's 2,500 co-operative farms, but there is probably no immediate change in his living standards.
For the first six months the Government pay him a settlement bonus of 150 Dinar (GBP 16 sterling), and give him some food, oil and blankets for the winter. The revolution is slowed by the fact that the authorities do not want to force illiterate peasants into the co-operatives until they have got used to a limited measure of sharing.
The co-operative decides which crops each man will grow and shares out the equipment which is hired from the state, but eh peasant markets his harvest individually. Private employers till pay a little more than the co-operatives on average but the hew land-owning peasants are sure their profits will grow.
Whole villages with clinics, schools and other facilities are being built for the new farmers and their families under the agrarian revolution. President Boumedienne laid the stone for the first of a thousand model villages on June 17, 1972 - and the Algerian people now celebrate that day as National Agrarian Day.
The scheme is the Government's main preoccupation, and it involves big spending. It is expected to cost another 930 million Dinar (93 million sterling) this year.
Recently, the revolution reached a more difficult stage. The Government were at first only giving away public land, but to continue the movement it is now taking over all the farms of the top three per cent of landowners who own 25 per cent of Algeria's land.
Another 200,000 farmers are losing some or all of their land, but about 300,000 small landowners are being allowed to keep their land with the option of selling it later to the state or forming co-operatives.
The landowners whose land is taken are paid government bonds as compensation. They can appeal against the nationalisation.
Mr. Boudkhil Gheffari, head of the Ain Temouchent Daira (District) has said he expects some individual disputes but nothing political. Some landlords have tried to underdeclare their land or spread what the president calls "a poisonous campaign of propaganda against the nationalisation".
There is another reason why the government thinks the agrarian revolution is so important - it halts the big rush of people to the towns. The industrial programme has released a spate of industrial development but it has not produced many jobs. The new tractor factory at Constantine for instance could have been completely automated but in order to provide as many jobs as possible the Government decided to employ three thousand men there.
The Government are also setting about an industrial revolution - giving workers a part in managing state and private businesses.
The agrarian revolution meanwhile, has been dominating algerian life. The party newspapers carry columns on the subject every day and there is a growing current of support for the programme. Some students and Government workers turn out in the fields to do voluntary work in their spare time.
President Boumedienne has admitted in public that there is no democracy, no Parliament and no freedom of opinion in Algeria but he says: "We have taken this responsibility because the historic phase this country is going through requires guidance."
The President and his Ministers are determined the agrarian and industrial revolutions will make algeria prosperous - and with no opposition to the National Liberation Front party there is nothing to stop them achieving this objective.
SYNOPSIS: The whole pattern of life is changing in Algeria.
Farming and industrial revolutions are taking place at the same time. President Houari Boumedienne's Government has been giving the country's farmland to poor peasants for nearly two years.
"The land to those who work it" is the agrarian revolute slogan.
Here at Bou Ismail near Algiers a Government official hands the peasant a scroll telling him 45 acres he may have worked for years are now his.
The Government are also having villages with schools and clinics built for the new farmers and their families. President Boumedienne laid the stone for the first of a thousand model villages on June 17, 1972 and the Algerian people now celebrate that day as National Agrarian Day.
What has actually happened to the Bou Ismail peasants' lives in the year since they were given those scrolls? They have probably joined one of the Government' 2,500 co-operative farms, but there has been no sudden change in their living standards.
The revolution has been slowed because the authorities do not want to force illiterate peasants into co-operatives until they have got used to a limited amount of sharing.
The co-operative decides which crops each man will grow and shares out the equipment which is hired from the state but the peasant markets his harvest individually. Private employers still pay a little more than the co-operatives on average, but the new land-owning peasants are sure their profits will grow.
The Government are now taking over most of the country's biggest 200,000 farms. Compensation is being paid, but some landlords have tried to underdeclare their farms or spread what the President calls "a poisonous campaign of propaganda." However the revolution is generally popular and some government supporter do extra voluntary work in the fields. President Boumedienne has admitted that algeria has no democracy and of freedom of opinion but he says the Government have taken this responsibility because the country is going through historic changes.
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