Food Autonomy

John Deere Water joins the Backpack Farm Agriculture Program SAN MARCOS, California – Oct 27, 2009 (PRN):

John Deere Water is lending its support to the Medea Group Ltd.’s Backpack Farm (BPF) Agriculture Program. The Backpack Farm is a comprehensive program enabling food autonomy in East Africa’s rural communities by providing small landholders with the cutting edge tools, training and technical support to build small landholder farming cooperatives. John Roberts, President of John Deere Water is enthusiastic about the program, “The support of the BPF Agriculture Program is consistent with our commitment to creating a business model with embedded service elements – innovating, creating, and distributing valuable products, services and while encouraging new business models that help humans around the world flourish.” John Deere Water will be providing complete drip irrigation kits. East Africa is facing record high food prices and food shortages. Simultaneously, seven out of ten Africans are farming but continue to suffer from deficient value chains. Rachel Zedeck, Managing Director of Medea Group believes “Africa’s farmers are capable of producing more food but they must have access to both the technology and markets to sell their harvests at prices to benefit both the farmers and local consumers”. Zedeck went on to say that, “Medea Group has also established a technical alliance with the Norman Borlaug Institute to conduct feasibility and impact studies on Backpack Farm programs built in Africa.” The Borlaug Institute is the global outreach of Texas A&M Agriculture. Medea Group has been operating in East Africa since 2007 with a vision to empower commercial, governmental and non-profit organizations with unique knowledge to make critical decisions, leverage opportunities and minimize risk in post-conflict regions. The Medea team has leveraged their microfinance experience blended with research and analysis to launch the “Suganic” initiative a non-political, non-religious, commercial initiative supporting the design of responsible and sustainable AGRO based initiatives achieving food security, income generation, enhanced nutrition, human resources development (HRD) in East Africa’s developing economies. Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is the world’s leading provider of advanced products and services for agriculture and forestry and a major provider of advanced products and services for construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment.

For more information, contact: Brian Jewell Manager Global Marketing Communications 760-744-4511 Email: