|Case Studies of Neem Processing Projects Assisted by GTZ in Kenya, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Nicaragua (GTZ, 2000, 152 p.)|
|4. Case studies of small-scale semi-industrial neem processing in Kenya, Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua|
|4.2 Documentation of neem activities in Thailand with special reference to the Thai Neem Products Company Ltd and the assistance provided to the DoA, Toxicological Division by CiM|
The agricultural cropping systems in Thailand are relatively intense. The typical situation of increasing impacts of pesticide application on health and the environment, and the development of resistance to pesticides described above (see Chapter II) holds especially true for Thailand. In spite of the impacts mentioned, both the total imported quantity and the amount of locally formulated synthetic pesticides are steadily increasing.
The government became aware of the problem in the 1980s and set up a programme to improve awareness, production, application and use of botanical pesticides. Therefore, compared with other countries, the political and administrative frame conditions for producing and using alternatives to pesticides are comparatively good.
However, alternative pest control such as botanicals is still limited. This is to a certain extent due to the immense market pressure and cheap availability of synthetic pesticides and the incomplete enforcement of the pesticide regulations. In Thailand synthetic pesticides are extremely cheap and often of low quality, especially if the active ingredients are imported from China and the pesticides are locally formulated by small backyard companies.
On the other hand, there are many plant species with pesticidal properties growing in Thailand and the traditional use of botanicals was widespread in previous generations of farmers. However, the constraints on making use of them in the form of home-made pesticides are the same as those found elsewhere (see Chapter II). This leads to the next step of offering ready-to-use botanical pesticides and manufacturing them locally. The first initiative came at the beginning of the 1990s.
The lack of quality control and standardisation of plant-derived pesticides has led to a loss of credibility for botanically based pesticides.
The government of Thailand was aware of this problem and has supported facilities to upgrade and improve production methods of plant-derived pesticides in cooperation with pesticide manufacturers, and has aimed to develop standard requirements. It was within the scope of consultancy to the DoA that a German expert from CiM (Centrum fernationale Migration und Entwicklung) assisted neem manufacturers in Thailand for 5 years (from 1994 to 1999). This chapter presents the neem-processing plant of the Thai Neem Products Company Ltd as an example of small-scale neem processing in Thailand. The Thai Neem Products Company was cooperating closely with the CiM expert in the fields of technology development and quality control improvement. Additionally Dr Praneetvatakul and her research team have investigated the economics of neem processing and carried out a marketing study for neem products on behalf of the GTZ's Pesticide Service Project.