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NEC Technologies Support Rural Development in India- Supporting disaster recovery and agricultural development in rural areas -

*** For immediate use August 28, 2012

Tokyo, August 28, 2012 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are to begin studies in support of "smart village" development in agricultural areas of India. The study seeks to improve living conditions for the most needy residents of rural areas as part of the JICA's "BOP Business Feasibility Study Assistance."

Activities include the introduction of hydroponic agricultural practices to communities in a number of areas, such as the Maharashtra and Karnataka states, as well as testing of pesticide-free vegetable production. The hydroponic agricultural techniques utilize technologies from GRA Inc. that were used to treat salt damaged land in communities in Japan's Miyagi prefecture which were impacted by the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.

Additionally, NEC's energy management systems (EMS) will help stabilize power supplies needed for operating hydroponic equipment by managing the electrical power from power supply and residential power generators. Moreover, a partnership with the College of Agriculture, Pune will enable students to gain production management experience through on-the-job training with hydroponic technologies.

Agricultural activities have been coordinated in cooperation with the non-for-profit Institute for Cultural Affairs Japan (ICA) (*).

By 2015, NEC aims to see the commercialization of hydroponic techniques result in an increase in business and employment opportunities for the men and women of these agricultural communities. This will be accomplished by securing customers such as supermarkets, hotels and restaurant chains to purchase the safe, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables produced by these communities.

These technological innovations are expected to give rise to "smart villages," where living conditions improve and disposable income becomes more available from higher earnings. Specifically, agricultural communities may leverage renewable energy, storage batteries and EMS to secure stable electricity supplies and capitalize on communications infrastructure to reduce the information gap between urban areas. Furthermore, technologies can be used to help improve the quality of villager's lives through long distance medical care and access to education.

Presently, some of the leading causes of poverty in the rural areas of this study include: (1) Insufficient income from agricultural markets due to exceedingly low prices that exploit the position of farmers (2) Insufficient educational systems (3) Unstable harvests due to insufficient knowledge of harmful insects and disease (4) Unequal labor practices based on gender, age etc.

NEC aims to help resolve these challenges through measures that include the introduction of hydroponic techniques that enable the stable production of safe, pesticide-free, high quality agricultural produce.

Furthermore, this study seeks to improve the education systems and the awareness of healthy environmental conditions as part of creating new business for rural areas with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and contributing to the reduction of poverty in emerging markets.

NEC became involved with the preliminary stages of this study in 2011 when the company was introduced to a variety of partners through involvement with the Japan External Trade Organization's (JETRO) Partnership Establishment Support. JETRO continues to provide assistance with innovative new studies that contribute to the development of a wide range of fields.


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(*) Institute for Cultural Affairs Japan (ICA)

NEC Press Contacts (Japan)

Takehiko Kato
NEC Corporation

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation