Hunger and disease are reported to be threatening the Afghanis.
LV AND CU Combined harvester reaping the corn in a green field (3 shots)
TV AND SV Cord flowing into trailer (2 shots)
CU Afghans man reaping by hand
CU Another man winnowing grain in field
SV PAN FROM Crops growing in field to man ploughing with bullocks (3 shots)
LV Partially buried petrol storage tanks
SV Burned out petrol tanker lorries
LV AND CU PAN Destroyed state farmhouse "Hedda"
CU PAN Destroyed tractors
GV ZOOM IN Rally being held in Kabul stadium with flags being raised and people seated (2 shots)
SV PAN Officials including military seated in official area
SV AND CU People seated in stadium (4 shots)
GV PAN Uniformed men lined up in centre of area with civilian organisation in background during ceremony
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Hunger and disease are reported to be threatening the Afghanis. Western correspondents say the cumulative effects of land reform failure, poor food distribution and the migration of livestock with refugees, leave the country in poor shape as winter approaches. Nonetheless this has been denied by the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: This film of wheat harvesting in the northern Afghan province of Balh was shot by Soviet Television. the Soviets say that with harvesting nearly over the grain crop is rich this year. They say that, as a result market, wheat prices have been cut in half. The Russians say the land reforms are working and that the land is systematically being turned over the peasants.
Moscow reports that primitive methods of agricultural management and harvesting such as this are gradually disappearing. It says that the government is attempting to provide all farmers with high quality seeds and fertilizer as well as modern agricultural equipment.
But Western diplomatic sources in New Delhi see the situation quite differently. They say that Afghanistan used to be self-supporting in food. But the land reforms brought in by the Daoud Government and followed up by Presidents Taraki, Amin and Karmal have failed.
Fighting has caused disruption, destroyed crops and led to the deaths of thousands of animals. Western reports say the Russians have cleared large, formerly fertile, areas of land and disposed of cattle and crops. The reports say this I done so the mujahidin, the rebels fighting the Kabul government, have difficulty finding food supplies in country areas.
The Soviet Union has played down the detrimental effects of the battle between the rebels and government forces. They cite a recent rally in Kabul as expressing widespread solidarity. It's claimed that fifty progressive youth organisations took part to demonstrate support for the government. The Russians have promised President Karmal that they will keep troops in Afghanistan until opposition to his Marxist government has been crushed. But while the Afghan President was in Moscow seeking the Assurance, there were reports that eight thousand Afghan soldiers near Kabul tried to mutiny, but were put down by Soviet troops. These reports have been vigorously denied by Moscow.