About Neem Seeds and the Commercial and Financial Aspects
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Galid Oukake
Posted on: August 01, 2005

Hello over there and good morning, my name is Galid Oukake and I live in the north of Holland.

I am very interested in the neem tree from India. And I want so much to cultivate the neem tree for commercial purposes.

In the near future I want to have my own plantation in the south of Morocco with neem trees. Therefore I am busy with a business plan. That is why I have many questions and want support on neem seeds and how to plant and use them. Also [I want help on] the commercial and financial aspects behind this plan.

When I make my own plantation, how many hectares and seeds will be needed for commercial or industrial practices -- 50, 100, 150 or 200 hectares? And how many tree seeds do I need: 100,000 or 250,000 seeds in total? What are the costs of the seeds? What are the prices of land in Morocco? When will the trees make their fruits over 3, 4 and 5 years? How many kilos of seeds do the trees produce the trees over 3, 4 and 5 years?

At 10-12 years of age neem trees produce 35-55 kg of fresh fruit per year or 25 kg of dry depulped seeds per year. A tree of this age will be about 15 m tall and have a spread of about 12 m. If the trees do not touch each other then you can plant about 70 trees per hectare. If you keep the trees pruned, you can plant the trees closer together, perhaps 200 per hectare, or even more.

To plant 100 hectares, you will need a minimum of 7000 trees or as many as 20,000 trees. There are approximately 3-4 seeds per gram, if the germination rate is the typical 50% for fresh seeds, you will need between 2 kg and 6 kg of seeds.

What are the market prices of industrial buyers per kilo (international or in Morocco)? Is there a future for me really in the industrial market for selling neem seeds, oils, powders for use in the pharmaceutical, medical, biological and chemical industries?

It is difficult to provide useful information in answer to the above questions. Your success will depend on many factors of which the impact cannot be predicted before you try growing the crop. I always recommend to growers planting new crops to go slow and plant a test plot to help them to understand the crop, its needs, and its market potential.

Are the seeds that you sell from a strong Indian race? And if so then why are they so strong? Are there more plantations in Morocco? What are the changes for me to make mine own plantatation? What can you tell me more about the financial aspects or risks? I hope you can help me.

We have been selling seeds from Indian sources for the past few years. But we cannot guarantee that we will not change to a different source in the future.

Sorry we have no information on whether there are neem plantation in Morocco at the present time.

The risks of growing neem commercially are difficult to qnantify. The only true way that you can establish whether neem is a financially viable crop in Morocco is to try growing a small test plot. Perhaps a hectare at the start of your venture will be enough to help decide whether or not to try growing neem commercially.

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