Neem: a unique agricultural input that gives back

by Christina Molcillo June 19, 2019

Neem: a unique agricultural input that gives back

When Left Coast Wholesale teamed up with EcoStadt Technologies to carry their ECOWORKS EC 4-in-1 and ECOMAX Neem Kernel Fertilizer, we were ecstatic when we found out that not only are they wonderful, organic products that worked – but that their creation  helps to support a rural economy by providing full-time jobs to individuals in an area where work is scarce.

Vegetable stand in rural India

Ecostadt and Neem

For their products, EcoStadt uses raw materials from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). The neem tree is considered to be a “Rural Economy Engine” because of its self-sustaining nature and its socio-economic effects on rural Indian communities.  

The neem tree sprawls the entirety of India and holds a deep emotional connection to the country’s people. Neem has been used in India for nearly 200 years for its medicinal properties. Almost every part of the neem tree has been used for human consumption. For example, the neem fruit is consumed for its antidiabetic and detoxification properties, and it is used externally on the human body to treat skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. The twigs of the neem tree are used as a natural toothbrush because of its antibacterial properties, and the wood of a neem tree is used to construct combs to prevent dandruff and other scalp problems.

Neem in an apothecary bowl

 

Neem as a Biopesticide and Fertilizer

One of the most widespread uses of neem oil in the modern world - apart from human consumption - is its use in plant protection. The neem fruit and seed produce neem oil, which contains many active ingredients to support its use as a biopesticide. Neem oil based biopesticides function as an antifeedant, insect growth regulator and as a fitness disruptor. The process of cold-pressing to extract neem oil from the neem seed is simple and uses no solvents or extractants. The result of this process is neem oil (the active ingredient in ECOWORKS EC) and neem kernel cake (ECOMAX) which is ground from the remaining pressed seeds, resulting in two useful outputs.  

The neem kernel cake is an excellent source of slow-release N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) plant nutrition and provides a number of benefits to the soil. Neem kernel cake and neem oil based biopesticides are growing in their use globally as the demand for organic agriculture only keeps growing. Best of all, this process creates no waste, as all parts of the process are used and sourced sustainably using carbon neutral harvesting and processing methods. (link to interview) 

Neem as a Rural Economic Driver

Bowl of neem seeds

Because of their use of the neem tree, EcoStadt has been able to have a profound effect on the rural economy in India. The neem tree sprawls a vast majority of unpopulated, rural public land as a shade tree due to its deep religious connotations. When the neem fruits fully ripen, they fall to the ground. The fruits are then harvested and picked by rural village resident as a full-time job. At the end of the season, the collected neem fruits are taken by the villagers and sold by the pound for a substantial price to a local trader. The local trader then sells the neem fruit material to a wholesale trading company, who then performs some quality control measures to further refine the material. The wholesale company then sells to companies such as EcoStadt Technologies.

Village residents have seen the entrepreneurial nature of the neem tree and decided to plant neem tree plantations themselves. They then in turn employ many employees to manage and harvest these trees. Likewise, most traders and wholesale companies also employ hundreds of employees in rural regions. As a result, neem-based products are able to provide a wonderful means of generating income for rural families.

For more information on EcoStadt products and Availability, please visit our website or call 800.681.1757 to speak with a Left Coast Wholesale representative about ECOMAX and ECOWORKS EC.

 

 




Christina Molcillo
Christina Molcillo

Author



Also in Blog

What is Coconut Coir?
What is Coconut Coir?

by Christina Molcillo September 16, 2019

In hydroponics, coco coir is known to produce quick harvests and big yields. With the right nutrients, the plants won’t need to search for food so all their energy is focused on growing. Coco coir also helps the plant grow a strong root system because it provides excellent water retention, drainage, and aeration. Whatever the grow is, more roots means more fruits! Royal Gold Soil - Coco Fiber is a wonderful choice if you want to begin growing with coco coir. Each bag contains premium, clean, quality and consistent coconut fiber growing medium. It comes ready to use straight out of the bag as a stand-alone medium, soil conditioner, or a base to mix if you prefer growing in a pot or planter.

 

Continue Reading →

When smell matters in your grow
When smell matters in your grow

by Christina Molcillo September 09, 2019

For a grower interested in trying Terpinator to increase the aromatics in their garden, they’ll find it doesn’t upset their already set routine. Terpinator is safe for use in all grow applications with the same feed rate, and it can be incorporated to any nutrient regiment with no change to a pre-existing schedule. For a grow with an array of plants, it won’t interfere as Terpinator is safe for use on all plants, and is used through both the vegetative and flowering stages – there’s no change of nutrients through the entire cycle!

Continue Reading →

Rhizobacteria sounds gross, but it’s not. Here’s why
Rhizobacteria sounds gross, but it’s not. Here’s why

by Christina Molcillo September 03, 2019

Bacteria are considered unclean and unwanted in our everyday lives, but when it comes to plants, bacteria in the root zone is welcomed! Rhizobacteria are a root-associated bacteria that form symbiotic relationships with many plants, and this symbiosis is beneficial for both the plant as well as the bacteria. The plants root zone has its own environment, and what happens there will affect the rest of the plant! Read on to learn more…

Continue Reading →