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NEEM A Tree For Solving Global Problems Report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1992
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Stuart Bonderant is acting president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) of the Office of International Affairs addresses a range of issues arising from the ways in which science and technology in developing countries can stimulate and complement the complex processes of social and economic development. It oversees a broad program of bilateral workshops with scientific organizations in developing countries and conducts special studies. BOSTID's Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation publishes topical reviews of technical processes and biological resources of potential importance to developing countries. This report has been prepared by an ad hoc advisory panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Office of International Affairs, National Research Council. Staff support was funded by the Office of the Science Advisor, Agency for International Development, under Grant No. DAN-5538-G-00-1023-00, Amendments 27 and 29. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 91-68332 ISBN 0-309-04686-6 S527 Second printing1993 Third printing, 1998
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PANEL ON NEEM EUGENE B. SHULTZ, JR., School of Engineering and Applied Science, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Chairman DEEPAK BHATNAGAR, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA MARTIN JACOBSON, U.S. Department of Agriculture (retired), Silver Spring, Maryland, USA ROBERT L. METCALF, Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA RAMESH C. SAXENA, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya DAVID UNANDER, Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA NOEL D. VIETMEYER, Senior Program Officer, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Neem Study Director and Scientific Editor STAFF F. R. RUSKIN, BOSTID Editor ELIZABETH MOUZON, Senior Secretary BRENT SIMPSON, MUCIA Intern JOHN HURLEY, Director (until November 1991)
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CONTRIBUTORS SALEEM AHMED, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA K.R.S. ASCHER, Department of Toxicology, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel EDWARD S. AYENSU, Pan-African Union for Science and Technology, Accra, Ghana MICHAEL D. BENGE, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C., USA BARUCH S. BLUMBERG, Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA JEAN GORSE, Paris, France JEFFREY GRITZNER, Public Policy Research Institute, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA BRUCE HARRISON, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Washington, D.C., USA MURRAY B. ISMAN, Department of Plant Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada C.M. KETKAR, Neem Mission, Maharashtra, India T.N. KHOSHOO, Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi, India JIM KLOCKE, ISK Mountain View Research Center, Sunnyvale, California, USA (deceased) HIRAM LAREW, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C., USA ROBERT O. LARSON, Vikwood Botanicals, Inc., Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA DAVID PLUYMERS, College of Engineering and Applied Science, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA MARTIN PRICE, ECHO, North Fort Myers, Florida, USA STANISLAW RADWANSKI, Paris, France HEINZ REMBOLD, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, D-8033 Martinsried bei München, Germany HEINRICH SCHMUTTERER, Institut für Phytopathologie und Angewandte Zoologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany PETER P. STRZOK, Agency to Facilitate the Growth of Rural Organizations, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA JAMES F. WALTER, W.R. Grace and Company-Conn., Columbia, Maryland, USA DAVID WARTHEN, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland, USA GERALD E. WICKENS, Hampton Hill, Middlesex, England
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Preface Neem is a fascinating tree. On the one hand, it seems to be one of the most promising of all plants and may eventually benefit every person on the planet. Probably no other yields as many strange and varied products or has as many exploitable by-products. Indeed, as foreseen by some scientists, this plant may usher in a new era in pest control, provide millions with inexpensive medicines, cut down the rate of human population growth, and perhaps even reduce erosion, deforestation, and the excessive temperature of an overheated globe. On the other hand, that all remains only a vague promise. Although the enthusiasm may be justified, it is largely founded on empirical or anecdotal evidence. Our purpose here is to marshal the various facts about this little-known species, to help illuminate its future promise, and to speed realization of its potential. The report has been produced particularly for nonspecialists such as government ministers, research directors, university students, private voluntary organizations, and entrepreneurs. It is intended as an economic development document, not a scientific monograph. We hope it will be of interest, especially to agencies engaged in development assistance and food relief; officials and institutions concerned with agriculture and forestry in tropical countries; and scientific establishments with relevant interests. This study is a project of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID), a division of the National Research Council. It is one in a series of reports prepared under BOSTID's program on technology innovation. Established in 1970, this program evaluates unconventional scientific and technological advances with particular promise for solving problems of developing countries. This report continues a subseries of reports describing promising tree resources that heretofore have been neglected or overlooked. Other titles include: Leucaena: Promising Forage and Tree Crop in Developing Countries (1984) Mangium and Other Fast-Growing Acacias for the Humid Tropics (1983)
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Calliandra: A Versatile Small Tree for the Humid Tropics (1983) Casuarinas: Nitrogen-Fixing Trees for Adverse Sites (1983) Firewood Crops: Shrub and Tree Species for Energy Production, Volumes I and II (1980 and 1983, respectively) Sowing Forests from the Air (1981). Funds for this project were made available by the Agency for International Development (AID). Specifically, they were contributed by AID's Office of Forestry, Environment, and Natural Resources. How to cite this report: National Research Council. 1992. Neem: A Tree For Solving Global Problems. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
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Contents Foreword ix 1 The Vision 1 2 The Reality 15 3 The Tree 23 4 What's in a Neem 31 5 Effects on Insects 39 6 Effects on Other Organisms 51 7 Medicinals 60 8 Industrial Products 71 9 Reforestation 78 10 Next Steps 88 APPENDIXES A Safety Tests 100 B Breakthroughs in Population Control? 104 C References and Selected Readings 107 D Research Contacts 114 E Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 124 The BOSTID Innovation Program 128 Board on Science and Technology for International Development 131 BOSTID Publications 132
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Art Credits Page 9 Reproduced with permission from 1988 Focus on Phytochemical Pesticides: Volume 1, the Neem Tree, M. Jacobson, ed. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, USA. 24 Peggy K. Duke Cover Design David Bennett
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Foreword The people of India have long revered the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). For centuries, millions have cleaned their teeth with neem twigs, smeared skin disorders with neem-leaf juice, taken neem tea as a tonic, and placed neem leaves in their beds, books, grain bins, cupboards, and closets to keep away troublesome bugs. The tree has relieved so many different pains, fevers, infections, and other complaints that it has been called "the village pharmacy." To those millions in India neem has miraculous powers, and now scientists around the world are beginning to think they may be right. Two decades of research have revealed promising results in so many disciplines that this obscure species may be of enormous benefit to countries both poor and rich. Even some of the most cautious researchers are saying that "neem deserves to be called a wonder plant." In particular, neem may be the harbinger of a new generation of "soft" pesticides that will allow people to protect crops in benign ways. Although apparently justified by the evidence, the rising enthusiasm is based largely on exploratory investigations rather than controlled experiments or the widespread use of neem products in modern practice. The results have seldom, if ever, been subjected to the rigors of independent evaluation or use. Once that happens, everything may change. Despite all the uncertainties, however, the possibilities are indeed intriguing. The following chapter, a composite of the visions of various researchers involved with neem, shows why. Noel Vietmeyer Study Director
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