Neem - production & trade
CultivationThere are about 14 million neem trees growing in India. These have the potential to yield some 3.5 million tonnes of seed each year. In principle 700,000 tonnes of oil could be harvested. But in reality only a fraction of this is produced.
Neem trees are usually planted using seeds, but can also be propagated using cuttings. They start flowering and fruiting at the age of 3 to 5 years, but commercial yields of seed can be harvested after 10 to 12 years. The trees can live for more than 200 years and produce fruits throughout most of this time.
|Image: Neem seeds are obtained from the fruits for the production of oil.|
Fruits containing the seeds are harvested after the monsoon rains. Leaves can be collected at any time during the year. The trees can be cut for timber after they are 5 to 7 years old.