Indian farmers and medical practitioners have been using Neem's products for various purposes for centuries. Until very recently, the western world did not show any interest in the Neem tree and its properties.However given the popularity of herbs and herb-based products and a reaction against harmful chemicals, in the last few years, western company's interest in manufacturing Neem based products has grown phenominally.
Growing opposition to synthetic pesticides in the west has led to this sudden enthusiasm for the pharmaceutical properties of Neem. This is perhaps the most important commercial opportunities envisaged today around the world. Since conventional pesticides are primarily synthetic in nature, possessing quick knockdown and the inherent toxicity of the molecules to mammals and non-target organisms are not of primary importance. With increasingly stringent governmental regulations, worker safety issues and increased data requirements for registration purposes, the availability of newer pesticides has drastically decreased.
This bio-activity of Neem based products has been extensively evaluated and proven. Because of the fear of toxic residues in food products associated with the use of chemical pesticides, there is a growing importance of plant origin which do not leave any residues. Though many plant chemicals have been reported to be suitable for this, Neem is the only plant from which the bio-pesticides are commercially manufactured, found effective, eco-friendly and acceptable to the farmers. Neem pesticides are now increasingly used in India on crops like cotton, vegetables, fruit trees, coffee, tea, rice and pigeon pea.