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The invention patented by tropical agronomist Venanzio Vallerani helps populations who are combating the aridification of their land. He is aided by New Holland tractors, reliable partners with leading-edge technology.

TURIN, Italy - (July 14, 2008) - A TM175 New Holland-branded tractor along with two special ploughs designed by Venanzio Vallerani and produced by Nardi is fighting the process of desertification in a pilot project involving the application of the Vallerani System (V.S.) technology in Balinzuo County, in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, China. A global manufacturer and seller of agricultural equipment, New Holland is part of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Group (FIA.MI).

The pilot project, financed through a bilateral agreement between the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory and the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, has proven a success.

The project aimed to recover 1,000 hectares of land from the desert in five years starting from April 2006. After just three years, the figures have been doubled and no less than 2,500 hectares have been brought back into cultivation. The project has been refinanced for 2008, and the Chinese have asked for the launch of many new projects of the same kind, covering large areas using the V.S., and with New Holland machines in all cases.

Venanzio Vallerani, a tropical agronomist born in Umbria 84 years ago, is one of the leading experts on the fight against desertification and has won prestigious awards and achieved impressive results worldwide.

Vallerani's patented system involves the use of special ploughs that dig crescents or divided furrows, creating tiny basins that facilitate the collection and concentration of the limited resources that are still available (rain and runoff water, fine surface soil and organic matter) and thus make it easier to bring land back into cultivation. The mechanisation of this process is vital for fulfilment of the three United Nations conventions: the fight against desertification, the maintenance of biodiversity and the combating of climate change, three tasks which cannot be performed by human muscle-power alone. Desertification causes the loss of more than 12 million hectares of land a year.

Lodovico Tarabini, who presented the project for CNH, explains: "We provided the tractor and all the technical assistance necessary on site. We chose a 180 horsepower New Holland tractor with 4 wheel drive, capable of generating all the power needed to plough the land and maintain a high work-rate." And the machines are faced with a daunting task, since they have to work in extreme conditions, on the edge of the desert, a long way from all facilities, at a fast pace and are subjected to exceptional mechanical stresses, in order to plough the largest possible number of hectares for planting with trees before the rains arrive.

The zone involved is Inner Mongolia, a region where land can only be cultivated for a very short period of time each year, from April to the end of June. Before this it is too cold (the temperature gets down to 30 degrees below zero), and afterwards the rainy season starts.

The partnership between New Holland and Vallerani was consolidated years ago during the "Acacia Project" financed by the FAO in collaboration with the Italian government. Within this project, New Holland TM155 Series tractors, together with a parts and service package, and the V.S., were put to work in Sub-Saharan Africa to halt the desert's advance. The project enabled the rural populations of Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Senegal and Sudan to snatch more than 13 million hectares of land back from the desert, make it fertile and plant Senegal Acacia trees, which yield an edible gum in great demand on today's market. It helps to provide the local people with a reasonable income.

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