John Deere Foundation Awards $3 Million to KickStart African Agriculture Initiative

The John Deere Foundation in Moline, Illinois, has announced a three-year, $3 million grant to San Francisco-based KickStart, a nonprofit organization that creates and markets tools to help end poverty in developing countries.

Over the next three years, KickStart will work to raise the standard of living of 80,000 African families — approximately 400,000 people — by introducing small, inexpensive irrigation pumps and other revenue-generating equipment. Typically, farmers who buy the organization's foot-operated irrigation pumps multiply their income tenfold as they move from subsistence farming to a more commercial model that emphasizes the production of high-value fruits and vegetables.

"It is fitting for John Deere, with a long history of advancing agriculture, to align with KickStart in Africa, where access to water for farming is particularly challenging," said John Deere & Company chairman and CEO Robert W. Lane. "Through this grant, the John Deere Foundation can help improve the lives of the small family farmer by partnering with a successful organization that is already working to strengthen agricultural economies in Africa."