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close this bookCase Studies of Neem Processing Projects Assisted by GTZ in Kenya, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Nicaragua (GTZ, 2000, 152 p.)
close this folder1. Introduction
close this folder1.2 General introduction to neem products
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.2.1 Need for neem products for pest management
View the document1.2.2 Efficacy of neem-based pesticides
View the document1.2.3 Comparison between home-made products and commercial products


The neem tree is a hardy, multipurpose tree, well known for its medicinal properties, and also as a source of timber and of materials for producing cosmetics, toiletries and pharmaceuticals. The tree is often planted to give shade, as a windbreak and for reforestation.

Neem-based water extracts, neem oil, leaves and cake have been used traditionally for thousands of years on the Indian subcontinent - in particular in India against various insect pests, although the knowledge was often lost during the time of the "green revolution". There is a growing interest in the potential of the neem tree as a source of natural pesticides.

Intensive research and screening of plants with insecticidal properties, e.g. by the GTZ Neem Project and biocontrol projects (Schmutterer & Ascher 1980, 1984, 1987; Brechelt & Hellpap 1994, Grainge & Ahmed 1988) have shown neem extracts to be the most promising plant extracts for insect control, especially in integrated pest management (Hellpap 1996).

Neem's unique properties as a pesticide, namely non-toxicity to warm-blooded organisms, potential to control a wide range of pests, relatively low toxicity or non-toxicity to beneficial organisms, and low persistence in the environment, make neem-based products a better alternative to synthetic chemicals, particularly in the context of sound plant protection.