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Will India hold out the next olive branch?

India is set to commence production of olive oil for commercial use later this year in Rajasthan. With hopes to rival other leading international producers, the state offers the most favourable conditions with long, dry summers and short, cool winter.

According to state government funded agency, Rajasthan Olive Oil Cultivation Limited, more than 144,000 olive trees have been planted since year 2008; covering an approximate 260 hectares of private and government land in the state. Farmers are also offered government subsidies to encourage cultivation of olive trees. Now, farmers only need to pay INR28 to plant each olive tree, instead of the original INR130.

When this operation becomes a success, there is a huge potential waiting to be unlocked as more Indians become aware of olive oil’s benefits. Besides, importing olive oil has always been a costly affair. With hopes of domestic production picking up pace, prices would be driven down; ensuring access to India’s own bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

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