The planting of any kind of tree is a beneficial thing at all times, in all places. The neem tree offers the additional benefits of a multitide of purported medicinal uses.
Neem trees can never be successfully planted universally because they are tropical trees that won’t thrive in areas where temperatures regularly dip below freezing. They also are not a good choice in ecosystems that are regularly under water.
However, they are an outstanding choice in dry, arid areas in the tropics where nothing else will grow. We’re told there are more neem trees in Senegal now than in India because they are the only tree that thrives at the edge of the desert. They provide invaluable shade and stop shifting sands so other plants or crops can grow beneath them. They also provide a highly effective but very safe biopesticide that can be used to treat pests on crops and help prevent diseases like malaria and perhaps even AIDS. New research indicates that they may be extremely effective carbon sinks, helping to limit climate change.
Over time, we hope to see neem trees in developing countries become the basis of a sustainable economy because they are easy to grow and harvest with minimum capital investment. Over time, as developed countries continue to document the myriad uses of this amazing tree, world-wide demand will increase and jobs will be created in countries where little else can grow.
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