Talk about lucky. I am now very grateful that I was able to meet Romina Lindemann in Rio. Romina’s social enterprise, Preserva Mundi, sustainably farms and sells natural products like Neem, and Noni. I must admit I had never heard of either. Romina explains more in the video below.
Romina talked me through some of the properties of the Neem tree for agriculture, and personal use. It helps cattle fight disease. When they eat Neem, it helps their digestion and it’s properties stop insects reproducing in the cattle dung. Nice.
It’s proven to help plant roots grow thicker and stronger than if not used, increasing crop yields without chemicals. Apparently the big agro-chemical companies don’t like this.
For humans, we can use it for repellent, soap, or also take a few drops of the oil every day, for a healthy digestion (just like the cows).
Romina invited me to see the farm where it is produced, just out side Belem, in the Amazon region in north of Brazil. Here I met Romina’s father, Sergio. Sergio gave me a tour of the farm.
The farm also produces Noni, a healthy superfood to be consumed daily. Sergio has a shot of it every morning, as well as 3 drops of his Neem oil.
As well as these plants, the farm also grows piraricu – one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. This prehistoric fish grows about 12kg a year, and Sergio has seen a huge demand grow in high quality protein. How is the world going to feed 10 billion people? Sustainably farming fish is one way.
Before leaving the farm, I was given a couple of samples of the products. Neem oil, repellent and soap. I am so lucky – the week after, I arrived in the Pantanal, in the wet season, and next to water, after the rain. Mosquito heaven.
I covered myself in the repellent every day, and it worked a treat. No bites on neem sprayed areas. In all but the densest clouds of mosquitoes, the repellent has kept the mossies at bay.
Some of you maybe thinking that only Deet works, and I did have some Deet spray too. I saved that mostly for my clothes. Deet does work but it is strong stuff, and it’s not good for our skin.
It was really great to have a natural product as well, that I could cover myself with in the morning or after taking a shower, and not feel straight away like a toxic chemical dump. I recommend you take some neem natural repellent away with you, next time you head to mosquito territory. I may just save your skin too. Thank you Preserva Mundi!