Importance of Neem in Agriculture.

The Neem tree is indigenous to India and has miraculous power. Even today, we have neem trees in most of our houses and farms. Our historic agricultural techniques were simple using naturally available ingredients and neem was a very important ingredients in natural and organic farming. Neem based extracts were used as both bio-manure and pesticides. After the introduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the use of neem-based manures and pesticides has diminished to a large extent. Over the last 50 years, Farmers have been made more and more dependent on chemical inputs in the name of Green Revolution. Farmers are thus caught in a vicious cycle the moment they start using chemicals.

Research has shown that Neem extracts have an effect on nearly 200 species of insects. It is significant that some of these pests are resistant to pesticides, or are inherently difficult to control with conventional pesticides (floral thrips, diamondback moth and several leaf miners).

The preparation of these neem-based products is extremely simple, as is their application. In terms of efficiency, these neem-based products are very good and, in certain cases, are even more efficient than the commercially available pesticides and fertilizers.


Preparation of Pesticides from Neem Extracts

Neem Leaf Extract

For 5 litres of water, 1 kg of green neem leaf is required. Since the quantity of leaves required for the preparation of this extract is quite high (nearly 80 kg are required for 1 hectare), this can be used for nursery and kitchen gardens. The leaves are soaked overnight in water. The next day, they are ground and the extract is filtered. The extract is suited for use against leafeating caterpillars, grubs, locusts and grasshoppers. To the extract, emulsifier is also added.

Remarks: The advantage of using neem leaf extract is that it is available throughout the year. There is no need to boil the extract since boiling reduces the azadirachtin content. Hence the cold extract is more effective. Some farmers prefer to soak the leaves for about one week, but this creates a foul smell.


Neem Oil Spray

Neem oil can be extracted from dried neem seeds. Thirty millilitres of neem oil are added to the emulsifier and stirred well to ensure that the oil and water can mix well. After this, 1 litre of water is added and stirred well. It is very essential to add the emulsifier with the oil before adding water. It should be used immediately, otherwise oil droplets will start floating. A knapsack sprayer is better for neem oil spraying than a hand sprayer.


Neem Seed Powder Extract

100 grams of Neem seeds are required for use in 1 litre of water. The neem seed is pounded gently in such a way that no oil comes out. The seeds that are used for the preparation should be between three and eight months old. Otherwise, the quantity of azadirachtin in the seeds is quite low and hence they cannot be efficiently used for pest control. The pounded neem kernel powder is gathered in a muslin pouch and soaked overnight in water. The pouch is squeezed and the extract is filtered. To the filtrate, an emulsifier like khadi soap solution (a soap with no detergent) is added. One millilitre of emulsifier is added to I litre of water. The emulsifier helps the extract to stick well to the leaf surface.

Conclusion

Farmers can be totally self-reliant using Neem based extracts. They no longer need to be dependent on the pesticide companies and chemical fertilizers.


Note: We supply high quality Neem seed powder. We do not extract oil from the seed and hence it is of higher quality than de-oiled neem cake. We also enrich our neem powder with Trichoderma which is a natural bio-control agent against fungal diseases of plants. Our neem powder can be used to prepare neem based pesticide extracts as well as bio-manure. The price is Rs 900 for a 50 KG bag (transportation cost is extra). Please fill the enquiry form about your requirement.

Neem Seed Powder

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