Distributed in Bhutan, Ceylon, Malabar, Burma, Australia & Africa.
It is naturally growing in almost all districts of Karnataka. But in the districts of Chitradurga, Bellary, Tumkur, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bangalore rural, Ramanagara, Mandya and Mysore districts it is cultivated for timber and fodder.
Temperature ranges between minimum of 0-15 °c and maximum of 30-43 0c. It is found to grow normally in areas with heavy rainfall of 1000 mm and relative
humidity of 50-90 %.
Forests provide society with benefits like wood products, annual products and environmental protection, catchment protection, nature conservation, climatic amelioration etc. Due to increased population, there is heavy pressure on the needs of the society. The majority of the agricultural families maintain large herds of cattle, sheep and goats because their income is augmented marginally by the production of cattle population and also cattle dung manure. Most of their cattle, sheep and goats depend on forest.
Even today people staying in forest fringe villages have the practice of usmg fuel wood for cooking and other purposes. Apart from these requirements, people have to depend upon the forests for agricultural implements, fencing, handicrafts and building materials. As a consequence of practicing age old agriculture cropping pattern, forests have to bear the brunt of an ever increasing demand for wood, fuel wood and grazing which cause great damage to the existing forests.
Hence, agro-forestry can be adopted to meet the requirements of people and species like Melia dubia is being promoted which is fast growing and can fulfill their needs such as timber, fuel wood and also fodder thereby farmers become self-reliant and economically stable.
Melia Dubia – Malabar Neem Wood
Apart from these benefits, the cultivation of Melia dubia increases the organic matter content of soil due to accumulation of litter which inturn enhances soil fertility. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharastra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka growing Melia dubiain their farm lands to fulfill their livelihood needs and contributing to increasing the green cover. Thus growing Melia dubia stands as an unique model in South India and can be adopted as short rotation tree cultivation else where under similar conditions.