Michigan State University
Florence V. Dunkel, Gamby Kadiatou Toure, David Jenkins, L. Joseph Sears, Matthew McClelland, Ashleigh Dupree
Subsistence farmers in Mali have little means of protecting their crops, both preharvest and postharvest. The abundant neem tree, Azadirachta indica A. Juss, may provide a sustainable means of protecting both crops in the field and stored crops. Laboratory studies at MSU have provided the basis for investigations undertaken in Mali concerning the value of NKE to the Malian farmer. MSU results with NKE produced in these villages, held under simulated Malian conditions, and tested using solid phase extraction / High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) proved that although the ambient high temperatures decreased the azadirachtin A content in the extract to undetectable levels, the efficacy of the oil in preventing the emergence of adults did not significantly decrease. In fact, the eggs of the bruchids did not hatch and so the cowpeas were completely preserved from any destruction by bruchids. This means that farmers will be able to make the NKE when it is convenient for them and then store the NKE for at least 5 months until the farmers need to use the insecticide for protection of newly harvested cowpeas. Thus, with these alternative storage methods, the nutritional status and economic base of these Malian villagers can be improved.