Economic aspects of the use of neem products in vegetable production in Niger

Heike Ostermann


The biological efficiency of neem extracts has been proved against a wide range of  agricultural pests since more than 20 years. However, the practical use of natural  insecticides by farmers happens rather slowly. Therefore, economic aspects of neem seed water extract (NSWE) and neem oil production are discussed in the present paper. Opportunity costs of NSWE production can be neglected for home consumption in marginal areas, whereas they have to be considered in the proximity of towns and market centers as well as for commercial production. Taking into account the common  minimum salary for workers in Niamey-town, production costs of NSWE correspond approximately to the prices of subsidized synthetic insecticides or exceed them slightly. In the same way the costs of mechanically produced neem oil are about the price of expensivly imported oil like coco oil and are higher than locally produced shea butter or ground nut oil. Most costs are caused by the time consuming seed collection. The use of natural insecticides of the neem tree would only be economically interesting for farmers if labour saving seed collection technics are developed. subsidies for synthetic insecticides are removed and by-products like the cake are used as well.

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