Hon’ble Prime Minister of India during his speech on the 69th Independence Day celebration, declared his vision of 100% Neem Coating of Urea. Once the Urea is Neem coated, it cannot be pilfered by middlemen. This brings the added advantage of farmers requiring 10% less Urea and the land benefits from the nutritional value of Neem.
To this end, in May 2015, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India made it mandatory for all indigenous producers of urea to produce 100% of their total production of subsidized urea and imported urea as Neem coated urea for the year 2015-16. In implementing the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister and the policy mandate, GNFC spearheaded the Neem Project in January 2015.
Instead of using the more common route of buying Neem oil to coat Urea, GNFC under the ambit of the Neem Project, tapped into Neem trees in the state. It involved the rural poor, mostly landless labourers and specifically women in Neem seed collection. The collectors sell the seeds at the nearby Village Level Collection Centres (VLCCs). These seeds are transported through a well-established supply chain to the oil expelling and extraction units. The oil extracted is used for coating Urea and in manufacturing a range of products including Neem Cake fertilizer, Neem Soap, Neem oil (for personal care and domestic use), Neem Repellent and Neem Pesticide. Read more about Neem Products here
The model adopted by GNFC has motivated many other states and companies to come forward for the implementation of similar development projects and they have gotten in touch with GNFC for support.
The Department of Fertilizers (DoF) has directed all 18 Lead Fertilizer Supplier (LFS) operating in 25 states to scale up this project model in the country in a consultation organized on 11/11/2016 in New Delhi. The DoF in a landmark policy decision has also directed that Neem Oil for coating Urea can only be purchased from producers of Neem Oil.
UNDP has also conducted an impact assessment study on the Neem Project to understand the project comprehensively and implement the model elsewhere in the country.
For the UNDP impact assessment report click here