मालाबार नीम Meliaceae परिवार से निकलती है और भारत, दक्षिण पूर्व एशिया और ऑस्ट्रेलिया, जहां यह जलाऊ लकड़ी का एक स्रोत के रूप में खेती की गई है मालाबार नीम के पेड़ की खेती सभी प्रकार की मिट्टी में की जा सकती है और पानी की कम आपूर्ति की आवश्यकता होती है। मालाबार नीम रोपण से 2 साल के भीतर 40 फुट तक उचाई लेलेता है मालाबार नीम एक नकदी नीम परिवार से संबंधित है। इस पेड़ अपनी तेजी से विकास के लिए जाना जाता है। हाल के दिनों में कर्नाटक के आसपास के किसान, तमिलनाडु, आंध्र प्रदेश और केरल में इस वृक्ष की बढ़ी मात्रा में फार्मिंग कर रहे है और इसका प्रयोग सस्ती वुड (plywood इंडस्ट्री) के रूप में कर रहे है।
यदि पेड़ो को सिंचित किया जाये तो 5 वर्ष के अंत में काटा जा सकता है और प्लाई के लिए प्रयोग किया जासकता है
Other names of Malabar Neem :- Marathi – kuriaput , Gujarathi – Kadukajar; Telugu. – Munnatikaraks ; Tamil – Malai vembu ; Kannada – Hebbevtl, Karibvam ; Malayalam – Malavembu ; Oriya – Batra. It is also called Melia Dubia.
Seed sowing: It is best to sow seeds during March – April. Cleaned and dried seeds should be sown in the open raised nursery beds, in drilled lines, 5 cm apart. Seeds do not germinate in sand. They have to be sown in soil: farm yard manure medium in the ratio 2:1. A 1:1 ratio can also be adopted. About 6-7 kg of dried drupes containing about 1500 numbers are required for one standard nursery bed. The seeds sown need to be watered regularly, twice a day. At places where daytime temperature is not very high, or where nursery beds are in shade, the bed should be covered with a tarpaulin sheet to retain temperature in the medium. Germination occurs within 90 days.
A spacing of 5 x 5 m is optimal while a spacing of 8 x 8 m is ideal. Growth is enhanced with the application of fertilizers. Regular irrigation is required for fast growth of the trees. Initial growth is hastened with daily watering and application of fertilisers once in three months for the first three years. Under rained conditions, the growth is slow (almost 100% less). The tree branches at 8-10 m from ground. Pruning every six months controls branching. The bole is straight, round, without any knots and without any buttress.
Soil requirement for Malabar Neem Farming :- It grows on variety of soils .However deep fertile sandy loam soils shows optimum growth, while shallow gravelly soils shows stunt growth. The tree is a light demander, the seedling are suppressed under shade. Seedlings tolerate some frost but severe frost kills them. It is susceptible to damage by fires and sapling suffers from browsing.
Melia is a good agroforestry species and supports a variety of crops throughout its cultivation period. Ground nut, chilli, turmeric, black gram, papaya, banana, melon, sugarcane, as inter crops are being successfully cultivated. The species performs exceedingly well when planted on bunds, attaining the harvestable size within four years.
Seed treatment in Malabar Neem Farming :- Seeds are collected from ripened fruits (Jan – Feb) by rubbing, washing and drying and are stored in sealed tins. The germinability of the seed is less than 25%. In nursery, the seeds are sown in raised nursery beds. The best seed treatment is treating the seeds with cowdung solution for one day. Then the treated seeds are sown over the raised nursery bed. It takes one or two months for the seeds to germinate. Irrigation should be done regularly. The seedling takes 6 months to complete its nursery stage.
Spacing in Malabar Neem Farming :- Six to nine months old seedlings can be planted at an espacement of 3 X 3m or 3 X 4m. Annual pruning is done to get the straight cylindrical boles.
Irrigation in Malabar Neem Farming :- The tree responds well to irrigation at once in every 10 – 15 days during non rainy season.
The tree attains a volume of 15 cu. ft. at the end of 15 years and earns revenue of Rs. 350 per cubic foot from the 5th year onwards. Growth rate ranges from 20-25 cm per year when intensively managed and 6 to 8 cm per year in unmanaged plantations. It is expected to produce 12 to 15 Cuft. (0.4 - 0.5 cu.m) of timber in 5 years’ time. Presently Malabar Neem fetches Rs. 7300/- per tonne for billets of girth 50-120 cm girth and above Rs.370 per CFT (0.02 cu.m.) for trees which have attained a girth > 120 cm.
It is a good secondary timber and the most preferred species for plywood industry. The wood is also used for packing cases, ceiling planks, building purposes, agricultural implements, pencils, match boxes, splints, catamarans, musical instruments and tea boxes as the wood is anti-termite by itself. Thus, the species has a ready and assured market due to its multipurpose utilities. The species is also highly adaptable. The species is in high demand by the plywood industries.