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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 folder4. Case studies of small-scale semi-industrial neem processing in Kenya, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
close this folder4.1 Kenya
close this folder4.1.6 ''Lessons learnt''
View the document4.1.6.1 Project concept
View the document4.1.6.2 Marketing and development strategies Marketing and development strategies

One of the greatest obstacles is having to conquer a certain sustainable share of the total pesticide market for neem pesticides. It is much easier to defend an existing marketing share than to expand into the market.

In principle the existing distribution system is suitable for selling neem products. Until the end of 1999 this was realised by the non-neem-processing wing of Saroneem Biopesticides Ltd. Only a small percentage of the neem pesticides are sold directly from the factory gate.

After the separation of Saroc Ltd, the distribution and selling rights could be awarded to Saroneem Biopesticides Ltd or to other companies. In any case a minimum retail price should be determined.

Until the end of 1999 the user could only purchase neem products from Saroc Ltd (now Saroneem Biopesticides Ltd). This is one reason why only a few small farmers are buying neem products even if they are cropping according to organic farming principles. Further reasons might be:

· Unavailable or insufficient information on neem products and their effects;
· Unavailable or insufficient information on providers of neem products;
· Unavailable or insufficient information on minimum residue levels of export crops;
· Possible alternatives for minimising and avoiding pesticide residues.

A strategy for marketing neem pesticides to vegetable farmers has to consider the above aspects.

The focus should be placed on making neem products available to local distributors and rural stockists. There should be emphasis on the areas where the farm size and main crops could be expected to allow a greater demand for neem products. Target regions are e.g. the "Vegetable Belt" around Mount Kenya, the areas around Naivasha and Nakuru as well as the area around Nairobi.

Additionally, local substations at model farms should be set up within the reach of local farmers to demonstrate the effects of neem products on selected crops.

The model farmers should work as multipliers. Their selection should include psychological and social criteria. First and foremost, those farmers should be selected as model farmers who are cropping according to good agricultural practices and have high yields. Also they should be broadly respected by the local population. Ideally the local spokesmen/women should be the model farmers.

The idea is that potential consumers of neem products get advice on how and where to apply neem products and how they work, and they should be able to purchase them at the same time.

As an incentive the agents would get the difference between the wholesale and retail price. They would sell the neem products on a commission basis. The entire model is like a franchise system. Several legal aspects of the proposed system have to be discussed with the PCPB.

The model farmers would be trained and equipped by two or three representatives of Saroneem Biopesticides Ltd, who would have to be newly employed. They would have the additional task of informing and training the farmers cultivating vegetables and ornamentals on how to apply neem pesticides and to convince them about the advantages of neem products.

There should also be concurrent presentations, information days and on-farm demonstration days.

The neem demonstration campaigns should be designed as follows:

Demonstration fields of approx. 1000 sq m should be set up at the model farms in the target region, and also on other farms keeping to standard cultivation techniques. On the demonstration fields neem pesticides should be applied free of charge. With this demonstration it is intended to convince small farmers not only of the pesticidal but also of the other properties of neem, e.g. as a growth stimulant and fertiliser.

Should this assumption show some success, it can be expected that a good proportion of the small farmers would favour neem pesticides despite a possible price difference and/or a more laborious and complicated form of application.

Simultaneously the farmers should be taught about the MRL situation (see above) and potential pest resistance against pesticides.

In view of the different mode of action of neem pesticides as compared with synthetic ones, farmers will remain disappointed if, soon after application, they do not perceive immediate mortality of the insect pests on their crops. It will be a long and difficult task to persuade small farmers to start spraying early enough to give the neem application a chance to produce an antifeedant effect in the pests, as well as enhancing the presence of predators to act against the targeted insects. This will mean that sales of neem pesticides will be slow to take off.

Therefore promotion and training supported by governmental or other donors are required.