Botanicals have low mammalian toxicity, target specificity, biodegradability and contain many active ingredients in low concentrations, thus possess biocidal activity against several insect pests and pathogens. Among such plants, neem is one of the most important trees which have a great potential for disease and insect-pest management in India and other parts of the world.
This single tree has such potential that it can meet more than 50 per cent requirement of pesticides in crop production.
India has more than 18 million trees of neem with seed potential of 4,14,000 tonnes which can yield 85,000 tonnes of oil and 3,30,000 tonnes of oil cakes.
Neem pesticides have been reported to control more than 200 species of insect-pests, nematodes and also effective against more than 50 diseases.
Neem contains at least 35 biologically active ingredients of which triterpenoides, nimbin, azadirachtin are present predominantly in the seeds, leaves and other parts of the plant.