NEEM A Treatise

NEEM A Treatise
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NEEM A Treatise

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Publisher: IK International
ISBN: 9788189866006
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Preface Neem Azadirachta indica A. Juss , a multipurpose tree of immense value, is native to the Indian sub- continent but now grown in almost all the warmer parts of the world. The usefulness of Neem for mankind has been known since ages, as evident from its mention in Vedas, world s oldest religious literature. Medicinal attributes of the neem tree were extolled in the oldest Sanskrit writings known by various names viz Nimbah, Nimba, Nimbapatram in the Vedas. Neem has been the mainstay of the Ayurvedic pharmacy. Inspite of such a long history, it attracted the major attention of the scientific community globally only about two decades back, due to its plethora of biological activities including insect control and various medicinal properties. Intensive research during the past decade for a safer insecticide has resulted in the identification of neem as the best alternative to toxic pesticides due to its quick biodegradability. With the continued robust growth of the global bio-pesticide market, azadirachtin is uniquely positioned to become a key insecticide. With its broad-spectrum activities and unique mode of action, use of azadirachtin as a multipurpose bio-insecticide and fungicide is increasing fast. Now-a-days, when ecological and toxicological aspects are of steadily increasing interest in integrated pest management IPM , it is of special importance that azadirachtin and related compounds from A. indica have a very low toxicity and are practically non- toxic to warm blooded organisms including man. It is also important from the eco-toxicological and economical standpoints that, in general, only about 20-50g of the active principle is sufficient to treat one hectare of land area to achieve a satisfactory reduction in pest populations, and the products decompose in about one week. The world s largest azadirachtin extraction facility has been commissioned in India to process over 1000 tonnes neem seeds per annum. This will ensure adequate availability of technical grade azadirachtin material in the future. The above research, as everyone knows, was warranted due to indiscriminate use of toxic synthetic chemicals that have posed great danger to human health and ecosystem. The awareness of preserving a clean ecosystem has driven mankind to go to Mother Nature and in the process neem has been crowned as a King of future pesticides . No other tree has received as much attention as neem in the recent past. Its popularity has reached such a great height that practically a Neem Wave is sweeping across the globe. At present it can be justifiably asserted that full potential of neem needs to be exploited. Keeping in view the importance of this versatile tree species globally, book chapters were invited from eminent scientists working on different research aspects of this tree species. In this book, the current chapters have been organized systematically in VIII sections discussing about detailed information on neem. Section-I entitled Neem, Its Botany and Forestry consists of 5 chapters including introduction of Neem, its geographical distribution, ethnobotany, botany, its role in agroforestry and social forestry. Section-II on Cultivation and Improvement of Neem has chapters 6-10 which discuss techniques and its benefits for neem improvement, diseases of neem and impact of industrial pollutants on the growth of neem. Section-III entitled Chemical Constituents
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Neem
and their Bioactivity discusses about chemical constituents, synthesis, chemistry and bioactivity of neem compounds. This section includes chapters 11-14. Section-IV Bioactivity against Microflora and Microfauna gives an overview of bioassay methods and risk assessment with neem based pesticides. It consists of five chapters, 15-19, giving details on biological effects of neem and its role in the management of plant diseases. Section-V entitled Bioactivity against Insect-Pests gives detailed information about role and scope of neem in management of pests of cotton, stored grains, horticultural crops, etc. It also describes about bioactivity of neem against soil nematodes, fungi, nematode-fungal complex diseases, aphids and phytonematodes. It includes chapters from 20 to 26. Section-VI Enhancing Fertilizer Use Efficiency including chapters 27-29 utilizes information