|Case Studies of Neem Processing Projects Assisted by GTZ in Kenya, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Nicaragua (GTZ, 2000, 152 p.)|
|2. Survey of neem-processing methods|
|2.2 Commercial products|
There exist two ways to obtain neem seeds:
· birds and/or bats feed on the pulp of the ripe neem fruits and drop the seeds underneath or near the trees (which happens in some places in Asia and Africa);
· the fruits are picked from the tree (in areas where the neem tree has been introduced only recently such as central and south America). The seeds are then collected from the ground.
In the former case the seeds can be collected (swept up) more cheaply but further cleaning from debris is still required, as is depulping sometimes.
There are different harvesting techniques applied in other regions; the best one was developed in Nicaragua.
Pruning takes place during harvesting time, so a good proportion of the seeds can be picked directly from the chopped branches on the ground. Leupolz (1995) found that the average harvesting capacity is 30 kg fruits during 6 working hours (5 kg fruits/h).
During picking of the neem fruits the workers do not differentiate between ripe and unripe fruits for reasons of efficiency. Unripe fruits are stored in the shade at the processing site.
The average harvest in neem plantations is approx. 5 kg fruits/tree.