Report of National workshop on Protocol Development for Sustainable Governance of NTFP Resources
Cultivation and Harvesting
Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Cultivation details :
Soil :
Neem grows well on moist, dry, stony, clayey or shallow soils including moderately saline and alkaline soils and lateritic encrust. Silty flat and land prone to mater immdation are not conducive for its growth. It can tolerate a soil pH of 5-10.
Climate :
The tree is very hardy in nature and can survive high temperature and altitudes between 50-1000 m and little rainfall as low as 130mm per year and stretches of drought. It thrives best when rainfall ranges between 480-1000mm and a temperature as high as 48?C
Propagation :
Seed propagation is the common method of growing neem trees. It can be grown easily by vegetative means like root and shoot cuttings.
a) Nursery Raising
Seeds are collected from June to August, which coincide with the rainy season. Seeds remain viable for short period of 3-5 weeks only and should be sown immediately within 2-3 weeks after collection. Nursery is raised in beds in rows of 15cm apart and 2.5 cm apart within a row. Two months to one-year-old seedlings can be transplanted when they attain 10-15 cm height. The seedlings can be raised in baskets and also polythene bags.
b) Planting
The seedlings may be planted inside thorny bushes to provide initial protection from cattle damage. Stumps are prepared with 2.5cm of shoot and 22 cm of root and spacing of 6-7m between rows and plants.
c) Pruning
Periodical pruning of the tree once in a year during November-December provides a good framework and faster growth of the tree.
d) Irrigation
Neem requires hardly any irrigation during the summer season supports good growth of the seedlings. Mature trees do not require irrigation.
Plant Protection :
Major insects: Thrips, defoliar, shoot borer and termites
Major diseases: The plant is not attacked by any disease of serious nature
Harvesting :
The fruits are harvested when the colour of the fruit turns from green to bright yellow. Vigorous shaking of the branches is required o collect the ripe fruits.
Yield :
About 8000-10000 Kgs of fresh berries can be harvested from one hectare per year. Fresh fruit give about 60% dry fruits, which yield 10% kernel and contain on an average 45% fixed oil.
Economics :
No data seem to have been collected regarding the economics as nowhere it is cultivated in an organized manner and the distribution is scattered so the cost per hectare could not be ascertained.