Govt plans 20 million Neem trees in smart cities

The Central Government is planning to grow more than 20 million Neem trees across the country, especially at the proposed smart cities in the coming days, Sudershan Kumar, Senior Principal Scientist at National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, has said.

Neem TreeSpeaking at one of the ISC sessions recently, he said, “In days to come, DDT will be replaced by Neem which has got multipurpose use. Though DDT was restricted in 2011, even today India produces 6,000 tonnes of DDT annually every year for the eradication of mosquitoes and other pests and exports nearly 2.90 lakh tonnes to Africa. We are into research and preparing Neem-based product to eradicate malaria.”

He further added, “In the proposed smart city concept in 100 cities, Neem saplings will be planted on roadsides. Uttar Pradesh will have at least a lakh of them, followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. For the past three years China has been showing great interest in Neem plantations. They have planted more than 14 million trees and have a 40 per cent share in the global export of Neem products.”

He also told that all the smart cities will be having a web portal, including detailed information about the cities. It will also include details about the plants and medicinal properties. In addition to it, T Drone technology will also be used to review images of plants and their accurate location.

Anil Rai from Centre for Agricultural Bioinformatics also said, “There is strong need for next green revolution in agriculture to ensure food and nutritional security for the projected world population of 9.1 billion by 2050 by environmentally sustainable ways through supplementing it with gene revolution. There are nearly 7000 plant species with potential to be used as food but in India, 95 per cent of them are using just 30 different plants, especially rice, wheat and maize. They should start using other food crops as well. For the last 40 years, we have increased food production by just 40 per cent.”

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