NEEM FOUNDATION – A BRIEF PROFILE
Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) has been generally known as the grand old tree of India. It has been revered, trusted and planted in the vicinity for many centuries in the Indian countryside. The canopy of this evergreen tree has provided cool shade in scorching temperatures across the vast, dry and dusty sub-continent.
WHY ONLY NEEM ?
No other tree can match Neem's usefulness. It has touched the life and living of a large majority of the population of the Indain sub-continent. Neem has been a part of the immediate living environment throughout the country.
NEEM : A TREE FOR SOLVING GLOBAL PROBLEMS
The Neem Foundation was established in 1993 to help realize the full potential of Neem for conserving the integrity of the earth as a living system. Over the years the Neem Foundation has emerged as a forum for unifying global efforts to promote the Neem tree. "Despite some unresolved questions, enough is already known that exploiting certain Neem uses can begin immediately. Indeed, the global problems posed by pests, diseases, erosion, deforestation and desertification are so vast that boldness is called for and some risk is worth taking. This, therefore, is a time for people to bring the plant and its products into international use.
Neem Foundation is registered under Public Trust Registrations Act 1950 vide registration certificate number E 14825-(BOM) 23-11-93 GBBSD
THE NEEM FOUNDATION STRIVES TO :
|International Consultative Committee||National Consultative Committee|
|Dr. H. Schmutterer - Germany||Vaidya Suresh Chaturvedi - Chairman
|Dr. Murray Isman - Canada||Dr. N.G. Hegde|
|Dr. David Morgan – UK||Dr. H.M. Behl|
|Prof. Malcolm Wegener – Australia||Dr. B. Venkateshwarlu|
|Mr. Serafin Tella Olivares – Mexico||Ms. Kalpana Gandhi|
|Mr. M. Nishimura – Japan||Dr. S.S. Chousalkar|
|Ms. Francesca Teghini – Italy||Dr. R.M. Mogre|
|Dr. Dou Dou Faye – Senegal||Dr. Nirrmala Kothari|
|Mr. Andrew van der Esch – Italy||Dr. B.S. Gill|
|Mr. Arnold Ruiter – Netherlands||Mr. Manmohan Mehta|
|Mr. Amnon Ofen – Israel||Dr. Ruparao Gahukar|
|Ms. Nita Nawalkha|
|Ms. Usha Chandrashekhar|
Mrs. Gita Khandelwal
Ms. Smita Singhvi
Dr. B.N. Vyas
Smt. Rohini Devi
Ms. Pramila Thakkar
ACTIVITIES & ACHIEVEMENTS
The Foundation has in the last nine years brought out 17 publications in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali.
- Collection, Processing, Storage of neem seeds and guidelines for neem plantations.
- Abstracts of International Symposium on toxicity, Safety and proper use of bio-pesticides.
- Development and Ecological Role of Neem in India.
- Abstracts of International Conference on Plants and Environmental Pollution.
- Abstracts of papers presented at International Neem Conference in Australia
- Kadunimb anni Ayurveda.
- Agricultural Technologies for 21st Century: Neem for sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation.
- Formulation of neem based products and pesticides.
- Kadunimbcha lagwadisathi margdarshak thathve.
- Neem aur Swasthya
- Neem – Applications in Agriculture, Health and Environment.
- Duniya no dost limdo
- Neem Yug
- Abstracts of the World Conference on Neem held in Vancouver, Canada 1999.
- The Neem Tree
- Proceedings of World Neem Conference - 1999
SEMINARS, CONFERENCES etc
January 1995- Seminar on Neem: Opportunities in the 21st century
January 1996- National Seminar on Neem - New Delhi - along with the Ministry of Environment and Forests
Two Business Meets on ‘Neem, Bridging The Innovation Gap’ in cooperation with National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, India.
Workshop on Neem Plantation 1996 - ‘Neem’s The Theme’
Symposium ’Neem: It’s Potential for the Future’ along with Solvent Extractors Association.
In December 1996 - Organised ‘World of Neem’ at UDCT, Mumbai. This three day event was the first ever buyer-seller opportunity in Neem. A two-day international conference ‘Neem: Setting Goals for a Global Vision’ was also held on the occasion.
In 1996 – Ms. Pramila Thakkar – Founder Trustee participated in the World Neem Conference, Australia on behalf of the Foundation and presented a paper ‘Saga of Neem’, which was well received at the Conference.
For the last 9 years the Foundation has celebrated Neem Day every year, coinciding with Gudi Padwa. 'NEEM DAY' is celebrated on the 1st day of the month of Chaitra. The wonder tree of India, Neem ('kadu nimba' as it is known in Maharashtra), is accorded much significance during this festival. In many homes Neem and Zendu leaves are tied on the doors as 'torans'. At dawn everybody has to compulsorily chew some Neem leaves to start the New Year in a healthy way, a practice that has prompted the dedication of Gudi Padwa as 'Neem day'.
Since 1997 the Neem Foundation has made several representations to the Ministries of Agriculture, Chemicals & Fertilizers and Finance to coat urea with Neem to improve its utilization, as despite the availability of highly encouraging data on the benefits of using Neem Coated Urea, the technology has remained largely on paper.
It took more than 4 years of persuasion and several representations, dialogues, discussions and presentations to various ministries, for the Foundation to persuade the Authorities to make coating of urea with neem a reality!!
We are happy to announce that the Government of India has finally issued a notification indicating Fertilizer Control Order amendments to include specifications of neem coated urea. All urea manufacturers who wish to manufacture neem coated urea at their factories can now introduce this category of product in the market. Therefore, our MESSAGE TO INDIAN FARMERS: ASK FOR NEEM – CAOTED UREA. Now that the clearance has come through, it is the market demand that will drive the production.
In September 1998 in order to ensure that the Neem tree receives priority in the Govt. of India, afforestation and eco-development programmes the Foundation invited the Hon. Minister for Environment and Forests Shri. Suresh Prabhu to interact with its members and experts. The programme ‘Neem: Setting Priorities’ was hosted in Mumbai. As a result of this interaction the Ministry convened a two day zonal conference of Forestry and Social Forestry Department officials to incorporate Neem in Forestry and Social Forestry Programmes on a National Scale.
In May 1999 the 3rd World Neem Conference was held in Vancouver, Canada at the University of British Columbia - under the aegis of the Neem Foundation. A delegation of Neem experts from India participated in the Conference led by Dr. R.C. Saxena.
In July 1999 the NOVOD Board (Ministry of Agriculture, GoI) invited the Foundation, as one of two NGO’s and nine premier Government Institutes to be part of the National Neem Network to implement a National Programme on Neem. The Neem Foundation worked in close co-operation with the following Organizations from 1999 – 2002 to promote and facilitate Neem Plantation on a large scale by identifying, raising and providing superior neem germplasm.
- Tata Energy Research Institute – New Delhi
- Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education – Dehradun
- National Botanical Research Institute – Lucknow
- Central Arid Zone Research Institute – Jodhpur
- National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources – New Delhi
- Arid Forest Research Institute - Jodhpur
- Institute of Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding - Coimbatore
- Haryana Agricultural University – Hisar
- Tropical Forest Research Institute – Jabalpur
- Indian Institute of Technology – New Delhi
The 3-year programme was successfully undertaken by the Foundation and implemented it in Nagpur and Mumbai. 30,00,000 neem saplings from superior genotypes were raised and distributed under this programme.
Our programmes over the last decade have been evaluated, approved and supported by National and International Agencies including
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
- Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India
- Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India
- Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
- Ministry of Small Scale Industries & Rural Development, Government of India
- National Oilseeds & Vegetable Oil Development Board
- National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD)
- Khadi Village & Industries Commission (KVIC)
- University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
In March 2000 the Foundation opened the restored and renovated Kalapradarshani Udyan for the public. Shri Chagan Bhujbal - Dy. Chief Minister of Maharashtra did the inauguration.
In January 2001 as a part of its commitment to reviving natural health traditions, the Foundation launched its Programme ‘Grow Your Own Medicine’. More than 5000 of medicinal plants like Neem, Brahmi, Aloe Vera, Tulsi, Adulsa etc, along with their detailed write ups were distributed free of cost.
In February 2001 the Neem Foundation was invited by the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of China and Yunnan Provincial Govt. to participate in the International Symposium on Chinese Neem Industrialization Development. A seven-member delegation of the Foundation was hosted by the Chinese Authorities.
Apart from this the Foundation participates in various Agricultural and Horticultural Exhibitions. At such exhibitions the Foundation arranges neem exhibitions, live demonstrations, films, information and literature, expert advice and consultation and neem sapling distribution for information dissemination at the grass root level.
The Foundation publishes a quarterly newsletter ‘Global Neem Update’ which is circulated free of cost within India and abroad to all engaged in neem related activities creating a world wide network.
WORLD NEEM CONFERENCE – NEEM 2002
The Event was inaugurated by the former Union Minister and noted environmentalist Mr. Mohan Dharia who set the tone with his unabashed admiration for the neem tree and devotion to the comprehensive promotion of this immensely useful tree. Renowned Scientist & Researcher Dr. Pushpangadan – Director, National Botanical Research Institute delivered the Key Note address. Leading Industrialists Mr. N.B. Godrej was the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Event.
The Poster Session was inaugurated by Mr. Suresh Prabhu - Chairman, Task Force for River Linkage, a Member of India's Parliament and a former Union Minister for Environment & Forests.
During the four day deliberations about 140 papers were presented, divided into 18 sessions. There were in all 90 oral presentations divided into 16 sessions and 51 poster presentations divided into 2 sessions.
As the Neem tree holds the promise of providing entrepreneurial opportunities and employment at the village level in Asia and Africa, the Conference was principally sponsored by the Ministry of Small Scale Industries & Agro Rural Industries, Govt. of India. Logistic and financial support was also extended by:
- M/s. Godrej Agrovet Ltd. - Mumbai
- M/s. Godrej Industries Ltd. - Mumbai
- Ministry of Environment & Forests – Govt. of India
- M/s. E.I.D Parry (India) Ltd. - Chennai
- M/s. P.J. Margo Pvt. Ltd. - Bangalore
- Khadi Village Industries Commission - Govt. of India,
- M/s. Spic Henkel Ltd. - Chennai
- National Oilseeds & Vegetable Oils Development Board - Ministry of Agri, GoI
- M/s. Fortune Biotech Ltd. – Hyderabad
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development – (NABARD)
In early 2003 the Neem Foundation in co-operation with the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and the Times Foundation planted 52,758 trees in Maharashtra alone. These trees were planted on protected sites with support of Defence and State Authorities.
GREENING INDIA WITH NEEM‘Greening India with Neem’ is a programme initiated by the Neem Foundation to channelize the growing concern of Indians about the environment into positive action. Keeping in view that deforestation, increasing soil salinity, accelerating soil erosion, over – grazing, automobile pollution and noxious emissions from industry are problems which affect a large majority of Indians, this programme aims to mobilize large scale public and government participation to plant Neem.
Greening India with Neem is a long term environmental programme aimed at providing one neem tree for every 10 Indians, so that Indians can use it freely for health and hygiene as well as for organic agriculture and all other known uses.
The Neem tree is globally being acknowledged as the most valuable tree in the world, in terms of commercial and industrial potential. The neem tree is the de-facto National Tree of India. It is the grand old tree of the Indian countryside and can make a cleaner, greener and more fertile India a reality !
The Neem Foundation first began its efforts to enthuse Indians about the neem tree in 1993. By 1997 we realized that many, many more neem trees would be needed if all the potential uses of this extremely versatile tree were to be tapped. We also realized that it would take a minimum of ten years for the trees to mature, so even if we began planting them without delay, it would still take a decade.
In January 1998, the Foundation decided to take up the challenge and set a national target based on the demographic realities. Thus the idea of ‘Greening India with Neem’ took shape.
Having created a space for the neem tree in the modern Indian psyche, the Foundation approached the eminent film personality and Member of Parliament Mrs. JAYA BACHCHAN, for energizing the movement to carry the message of large scale plantation of NEEM through the media. On being appraised of the hurdles and challenges being faced by the neem movement, she willingly agreed and a TV / radio campaign featuring her has been launched.
NEEM FOUNDATION PROGRAMME WITH MINISTRY OF CHEMICAL & FERTILIZERS GoIFor the last five years, the Foundation has been implementing a programme for farmers in rural Maharashtra, India to assist them to grow and use Neem for Pest Management and as a fertilizer for their fields. The programme involves more than 3000 farming families spread over more than 100 villages. This basic programme now needs to be expanded to cover a wider range of environmental, technical, social and health issues. This end can be achieved only through the setting up of a permanent Centre for excellence in Neem R & D accompanied by a large scale organized model Neem Plantation.
This project is of essential importance not just to the farmers of Maharashtra but also to communities globally. Your funds would put us on the path of creating a model facility for Neem cultivation and production, which the world would learn from.
It would be the first step in bringing the tangible benefits of neem centre stage.
INTERNET: NEEM IN CYBERSPACEIn 1998, the Foundation hosted a highly acclaimed website, which contains extensive information on neem for worldwide enthusiasts. The Foundation has also won the ‘Asia Pacific Award’ for its excellent presentation and contents.
Neem Foundation site can be accessed at www.neemfoundation.org
This is a decisive stage in the development of the Neem movement and the time has come to create permanent essential infrastructure for Neem propagation, research and development.
For this we need to increase our core funding from private sources