Natural killer

india's first fully tested neem-based pesticide is ready to hit the market. In a recent announcement, V K Misra, managing director of the National Tree Growers Cooperative Federation, said that the company would soon be commissioning its neem biocide unit. The company is tying up with Mumbai-based Excel Industries for marketing other products like neem-based mosquito repellants and creams.

"We hope to hit the market with our product Gronim very soon," said Misra. The federation hopes to make a dent in the market with the new formulation which has a shelf-life of over a year. A patent application on the product's technology has been recently submitted to the Indian Patent Office.

The product - an anti-feedant - has been found effective against pests of several food, vegetables and cash crops under the integrated pest management programme. It discourages pests from attacking the crops. As a result, the pests die of starvation instead of poisoning, unlike chemical pesiticides.