Rajasthan on 3 October 2014 became the first state of India to start olive refinery. The refinery established at an expense of 3.75 crore rupees in Lunkaransar area of Bikaner was inaugurated by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
With this launch, the state government feels that the refinery would fulfill people’s demand of olive oil in coming years. Olive oil produced in the refinery will be marked under the brand name of Raj Olive Oil and would be made available in market after some time.
Rajasthan is one of the leading states that cultivate olive. The state started cultivation of olive in 2007 under olive cultivation project that was launched during the previous tenure of Vasundhara Raje as the Chief Minister of the state. The project was started by taking assistance of Israel and planted 1.12 lakh saplings in 7 agro-climatic zones.
At present, Olive has been planted in 282 hectare land in districts like Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Bikaner and other districts of the state. The state has seven leading varieties namely Barnea, Arbequina, Crotina, Picholine, Picual, Coraniki and Frontoy. Now the government wants to increase the area to 5000 hectares, so that the refinery would get more fruits to increase production.
Olive is a small tree and belongs to the oleaceae family. Generally, it is found in coastal areas of eastern Mediterranean in Italy and Spain, northern Iraq. It is also available in the northern Iran south of the Caspian Sea.
When: 3 October 2014