To fulfill Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of neem coated urea, Dept. of Fertilizers, Govt. of India with the help of GNFC organized a national workshop of 18 Lead Fertilizer Companies operating in 25 states of India at New Delhi on 11th November 2016. It was attended by senior officials of fertilizer companies, representative from Fertilizer Association of India, FICC and senior officials from Govt. of India.
Managing Director GNFC Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta IAS presented Neem Project, a first-of-its-kind socio-economic initiative involving collection of neem seeds by women Self Help Groups, rural poor and other marginalized communities which has led to income generation of more than Rs. 12 crore for over 1 lac women and rural poor in Gujarat alone in just one year.
Dr. Gupta explained in details the backward integration structure that has been created for sourcing, storage, oil extraction, etc. generating large scale employment. Neem seeds were collected from more than 4000 villages in Gujarat and around 850 MT of neem oil was produced, which was used by GNFC for coating of Urea.
In addition, as a forward integration process, GNFC has also started producing neem soap by involving women Self Help Groups in production process and presently 2 tons of neem soap is being produced on daily basis and marketed, generating further additional income to women Self Help Groups. GNFC is taking forward integration process further by developing neem pesticides, neem mosquitoes repellant, etc.
The project has huge potential of replication, nationally by fertilizer companies with more than 1.5 lac retailers who could operate as neem seeds collection centers and which would ultimately usher in neem revolution in the country. It has been estimated that by upscaling neem project to the national level will generate additional income of around Rs. 1500 - 2000 crores to around 60 lac women and other rural poor.
Dept. of Fertilizers has advised all fertilizer companies to replicate the GNFC model in order to ensure availability of pure neem oil in coating of urea and generate large scale additional rural employment.
Therefore, Hon’ble Prime Minister initiative of 100% neem coating of urea has not only prevented pilferage of urea for industrial usage, made more urea available to farmers, but also ushered in a quiet but very significant revolution for additional income generation for women and rural poor.
Shri Dharampal, Shri SK Lohani and Shri AK Padhee Joint Secretaries of Ministry of Fertilizers also spoke on the occasion and directed the senior officials of fertilizer companies to adopt the Neem Project as a multidimensional project benefiting the farmers, groups of rural poor and also ultimately benefiting the environment.