Recognizing the danger that the guerrillas posed if they had the support of the peasants, President Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu implemented the Rural Community Development Program (later known as "Agroville") in 1959.
Based partly on the success of a similar program in Malaya used by the British to suppress a communist uprising beginning in 1948, the Agroville Plan endeavored to remove the "neutral" population from guerrilla contact.
Through direct force and/or incentives, peasants in rural communities were separated and relocated into large communities called "Agrovilles". By 1960, there were twenty-three of these Agrovilles, each consisting of many thousands of people.
This mass resettlement created a strong backlash from peasants and forced the central government to rethink its strategy.