The Neem Initiative is a Five-Year Program...
...with the purpose of leveraging resources – land, forestry expertise, qualified personnel and distribution channels - already in Uganda, then adding in products and processes that do not already exist in country. This is a "catalyst enterprise" that will spin off several ongoing ventures while solving a major public health problem.
The project has three main goals:
- Scientifically prove the malaria-repelling and symptom reduction benefits of Neem in high-incidence areas of Uganda.
- Employ local providers to grow neem seedlings in centralized growing centers. for wholesale distribution and replanting. Growers will be compensated for every viable seedling grown while being a vital part of the process that’s solving the malaria problem. - Grow “production forests” to create marketable Neem products that will benefit local growers, local villages and associated organizations in perpetuity
Timetable and Progress To Date
The steps in the program from inception are as follows:
2012 -Establish an experimental Neem nursery in Uganda
Buy or borrow one acre of open land Buy and germinate 1 kilo of Neem seeds Establish local leadership that develops procedures and standards
Checkpoint for success: At the end of one year, have ongoing operation, plant production forest of 500 trees, grow 1,000 trees for resale.
- One acre of land was donated by Kayanja Village, Kibaale District
- Germinated more than 1,000 seedlings from purchased seeds
- Obadiah Monday, Kibaale, agreed to manage the project
- 400 seedlings sold at 1,000 UGX each
- 440 trees planted for forest and/or transplanting.
These have been allocated as our “study trees” for 2015.
2013 - Systematize the growth of Neem trees and the harvesting of by-products
Funding by Stakeholders ($100,000) will be complete. Working with Uganda Forestry Experts, choose the best varieties of tree for the climate, soil and altitude Kibaale District. Organize the planting, nurturing and harvesting processes with appropriate personnel and management Establish distribution channels Begin product development
Checkpoint for success: Funding complete. 10 kilos of seeds germinated. Land allocated and planted with Neem Forest. Initial quantity of seeds sold to broker. At the end of one year, have operation managed and run 90% by Ugandans. At the end of two years, 100% Ugandan. Experience with operations should allow accurate production projection for next four years.
Results to date: (8/1/13): 10 kilos of seeds were germinated. More than 12,000 seedlings are ready for transplanting. The first Neem forest will be planted at Kayanja Village. Obadiah Monday and Rev. Apuuli Brown are active in the project management. Funding is 25% complete. We are working to be completely funded by the end of the year.
The 2015 Mosquito Survey Pre- and Post-Neem Analysis
Integral to the success of this program is a scientific study that proves or disproves the anopheles mosquito repellant capability of the Neem tree. Considerable research has been done in a variety of places around the world which we are tempted to simply accept as the basis for moving forward.
However, prudent judgment tells us we must develop our own data in specific areas of high incidence in Uganda. We plan to spend considerable time and funding to develop community acceptance and participation of this program. Therefore, we need to show everyone – funders, local providers and local governments absolute results that their and our efforts and their resources will achieve desired results.
- Choose six-month timeframe based on current MOH statistics of prevalence.
- Identify approximately 400 homes/dwellings within the district where the occupants are
- Each house will be supplied with mosquito traps which are inspected weekly with data
recorded as to the number and type of mosquitoes found.
- The study will then be executed in two phases. Pre-Neem and Post-Neem
. Pre-Neem: duration 2 months. The data of mosquito counts in this phase measures the
existing prevalence of anopheles mosquito in the study area.
. Following that timeframe, a viable Neem tree will be planted near each home and will
be given 30 days before the next phase of the study.
. Post-Neem: duration 2 months. The same collection procedures will be executed as in
Pre-Neem with the same counts and measurements.
- Take 30 days to tabulate the results
- Publish findings for MOH and general release.
STATUS: Approximately 440 neem trees are currently being grown for use in the study. By 2015 they should be at least one meter tall and will be viable.
Assuming the results of the study support our hypothesis, The Neem Initiative will then scale up activity for:
- Seedling growth and transplanting
- Working with the Ministry of Health and NGOs for systematic area-by-area education of the
program and distribution of young trees.
- Expand areas devoted to Neem forests.
- Identify brokers for purchasing by-products: seeds, bark, dried leaves.
- Investigate ways to establish processing facilities to turn by-products into marketable
- Once trees have been in place for one year, send training teams to visit villages to teach
about the many medical benefits of Neem bark, leaves, seeds. Such topics would
include insecticide for malaria control and pest control on crops, food preservative, the
use of Neem oil to treat skin rashes and as a spermicide.
The Long-Range Vision
By Year 2032, 20 years from inception, we envision the following:
Neem trees will be abundantly mature in virtually all neighborhoods of at least ten high-population, malaria-prone areas in Uganda: Kampala, Mbarara, Masaka, Gulu, Mbale, Siroti, Jinja, Kabale, Entebbe and Fort Portal.
The Neem Initiative will be involved with development projects throughout Africa
Green Belt projects across Africa will include Neem trees from Uganda
Statistics will show a drop in the new-incidence of malaria in these areas that exceeds the 25% drop recorded by the World Health Organization 2000-2008. The death rate from malaria will be significantly lower.
Uganda will become a major exporter of Neem trees and cultivation expertise
Uganda will be a major producer of processed Neem seeds, leaves, bark and oil and also a source of seeds for transplanting
Uganda will become a major manufacturer of Neem-based products.
More than 500,000 hectares of land will be reforested with Neem trees throughout Africa. That translates to approximately 1,240,000 acres of forest containing approximately 1.16 BILLION trees contributing to public health, local economy and global ecology.