Azadirachta Indica Literature Review

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CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Ecology of Azadirachta indica (neem)
Neem can grow in tropical and subtropical regions with semi-arid to humid climates. It can grow well in areas with annual rainfall of 400-1200 mm and at elevations from sea level to 1000 m. At higher altitudes (1000-1500 m), growth may be slow. Neem is best suited to deep, well drained and sandy soils (Schmutterer, 1995), however the range of soils on which it can grow is wide. Soil water availability is the most critical factor (Fishwick, 1970). Neem can grow on both alkaline and saline soils with a pH of 6.2 – 7.0, although pH of 5.9 and 10.0 may also be tolerated (Ogemah, 2003). Optimum temperatures for its growth range from 21-320C. However, it can tolerate temperatures as high as 500C, but low temperatures below 400C are unfavorable. Neem tree is drought-tolerant and thrives in many of the drier areas of the world. There is, therefore, considerable interest in neem as a means to prevent the spread of deserts and ameliorate desert environments in Saudi Arabia and Sub-Saharan Africa (Ahmed, et al., 1989; National Research Council, 1992; Childs et al., 2001).
2.2
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The most common use of neem in Ghana is for medicinal purposes although other uses such as protection of crop pest in the field and storage crops, timber and poles have been reported (Childs et al.,

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