SHILLONG, Oct 14 - Indians do tend to wait for validation from the West before they are convinced of a product�s value and Neem is a classic example, says an Indian scientist.
Ramasamy Annadurai, a scientist who has done extensive research on Neem in India and abroad, said here that the efficacy of Neem is increasingly being acknowledged in the West.
�India is exporting 70 tonne of Azadirachtin, a Neem extract to the US, annually. Azadirachtin is used in the pharmaceutical and the agro sector and is found in Neem seed,� Annadurai said.
He said that while he was conducting his research in Germany, his senior colleagues wished that more products would be Neem-based and now after decades of research on Neem, several products are in the market.
Neem, Annadurai said, is known to Indians from ancient times for its anti-bacterial and pesticidal properties. �People took Neem baths and hung Neem leaves at the door to warn others of an infection in the household. The vapour from the Neem leaves also purifies the air,� the scientist stated.
But over time the relevance of Neem in India was somewhat lost until recently with a lot of focus on the tree, especially in the West. Annadurai said India has also taken advantage of this new found love and Neem-coated Urea initiated by the Modi Government is one such example.
Neem-coated Urea has stopped the illegal sale of subsidised Urea to the chemical factories instead of use in the farms. After it was coated with Neem oil, it can�t be used in chemical factories and so this illegal sale has stopped. Moreover, the Neem oil in the Urea also acts as a bio-pesticide.
�There are Neem sticks (Datun in Hindi) that are being sold online in the US. These sticks have been used by Indians for centuries as mouth and teeth cleaners,� he said.
Annadurai has joined the Research and Development wing as the Principal Scientist of the ITC Group and has formulated a floor cleaner with Neem called Nimyle.
He says that the product kills germs and is not harmful for children and pets. �There are a lot of products that are being formulated from Neem by the ITC, which will come out in the market soon,� Annadurai said.