Olea Ferruginea Royle, una oleácea productora de aceite que crece en el norte de Pakistán, India y Afganistán

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Olea Ferruginea (www.plantphoto.cn/)

La Olea Ferruginea Royle, es una planta de la familia de las oleáceas llamada también aceituna india, crece a gran altitud  al noroeste del Himalaya, incluyendo Pakistan y Afganistam. Sigue leyendo

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Israel olive varieties and technologies on Indian desserts

Driving southeast of Bikaner, Rajasthan, all that meets one’s eyes is the sand and shrubs. Vegetation is scarce, agriculture of any kind non-existent and the only green one can see are a few patches of grass in the sand. Two hours ahead, taking a left from the NH-65, on the road to Didwana, the dry brown landscape suddenly changes colour. Olive trees, around 14,000 of them spread across 30 hectares, dot the desert land. This is the Bakliya farms, one of seven such farms in Rajasthan, result of an Indo-Israeli agricultural venture.
It started with Vasundhara Raje’s visit to Israel in 2006. The sight of an olive farm in a kibbutz in the Negev desert of southern Israel struck the former Rajasthan chief minister as something that could be replicated in her state. On her request, the Israel government agreed to help set up olive groves in Rajasthan, a hitherto failed experiment in India. The Israelis had developed a technology through intensive plantation and drip irrigation that allowed them to grow olive on arid land. Exactly what the then chief minister wanted for her dry state..
The Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited (ROCL) was set up as a public-private partnership with investments from the Rajasthan government and expertise from Indolive, an Israeli olive farming company and Pune-based irrigation equipment manufacturers, Finolex Plasson Industries. In the next six years, seven areas in the state were selected for growing seven varieties of the plant. Cuttings of high yield olive plants were imported from Israel. Drip irrigation, another Israeli invention and a common Indian practice now, was also used. Fertilisers, cutting techniques, soil testing — all the expertise came from Israel.
Barnea olive variety

Of the seven varieties they planted, Barnea olive variety had been the most successful.

The results have been quite impressive. Of the seven districts where the olive experiment took place, four have done well. Buoyed by the success, the Rajasthan government has declared huge subsidies — 75 percent on plant cuttings, 3,000 per hectare on fertilizers and chemicals, and 90 percent on drip irrigation — to promote olive plantation in the state. An olive oil refinery is also coming up in Lukhransar, north of Bikaner.
The Rajasthan experiment has also given Israel the impetus to expand into other agriculture and horticulture segments across India. The technologies to be transferred include irrigation, soil solarisation for disease control in plants, polyhouse farming, fertilisers, hybrid plants and seeds. While Israel has already entered into agreement with seven state governments to set up these centres, the most successful model has been Haryana.

Source of the new:

Olives and olive oil import and future production in Rajasthan, India.

Olive cultivation is set to take off in northern Rajasthan. After successful field trials over past three years in the State-owned farms, the Rajasthan Government plans to promote olive cultivation in private farms starting February with a buy-back arrangement.

The State has decided to take the cluster approach to promote olive cultivation in about 300 hectares next year said the COO of Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Ltd (ROCL)´ representative. ROCL’s stakeholders include the Rajasthan State Agriculture Marketing Board, Plastro Plasson Industries and Indolive Ltd, an Israeli agri-consultancy firm.
Six clusters of 50 hectares each will be formed in districts such as Sri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner and Nagaur. In the next three years, the State plans to bring about 5,000 hectares under olives, which has a great demand in both domestic and export market. India’s olive oil imports, driven by the rising awareness of health-foods grew 52 per cent to 3,988 tonnes in 2010 according to the Indian Olive Association. Olive imports for table top consumption grew 46 per cent to 637 tonnes in 2010.
“Cluster approach will help us provide free technical consultancy for the first three years, without any hassles,” he said. Typically, an olive plant starts yielding fruits from fourth year onwards. Farmers, who can plant 523 olive seedlings in a hectare, are free to grow intercrops like pulses such as green gram and gram among others, he said.
ROCL plans to start distributing seedlings to farmers from the February-March next. The Government will offer a subsidy of 75 per cent towards the planting material. The subsidised cost of each seedling works out to Rs 28.75, while its original cost is Rs 115. Besides, a farmer will also be provided a 90 per cent subsidy on the drip irrigation equipment and offered consultancy services for processing.
“There is a tremendous interest from farmers seeking crop diversification. We are trying to promote it in the vicinity of those areas, where we have already grown olives,” Mr Sekhawat said. At the recent FarmTech 2011, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Rajasthan Government in Jaipur, knowhow on olive cultivation was the most sought after information at the agri-fair.

 

Can India become a major producer and exporter of olive oil? 50,000 sapling of different varieties were planted near Jaipur to find the most suitable to India.

Olives growing area in India: Rajastthan State
Olive trees cultivation has now spread to many new places in the world including India. It is now prevalent in Australia, Argentina, Croatia and Chile. Spain continues to be the leading producer with Italy second. With the advances in technology, mechanical harvesting and other devices have reduced labour and made it more cost-efficient.
In India, Rajasthan is the location for the first experiment in olive cultivation. The company Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Ltd (ROCL) is a 3-way collaboration between the Rajasthan State Agriculture Board, Plastro Plasson of Pune and Indolive Ltd, all of which have equal shares. Plastro Plasson Industries (India) Ltd is a joint venture between Finolex Ltd of India and two Israeli companies and deals in micro-irrigation, while Indolive is an Israeli company which is partially funded by the Israeli government, which promotes techniques in agriculture.
Lior Weintraub, a spokesman for the Israel embassy has said, “A project such as this, where a new kind of tree is being introduced in a water-scarce environment, hinges on the irrigation system used. So the olive project is as much about drip irrigation as it is about transforming Rajasthan into a major olive grower. The main reason the project was considered for Rajasthan was the similarities in climate and cultivation problems in the state and Israel. However, there are major differences in soil and other factors which will have to be addressed.”
The Process
An agreement was signed between Israel and the Rajasthan state government in 2006 and the deal was finalized and a joint venture agreement was signed in 2007. A 30-hectare field in the small village of Basbisna some 160 km from the capital Jaipur, is the location for this experiment. The field tests had shown which variety could adapt itself best to the climate and soil of this region. A 3-year agricultural plan will introduce many crops from the Middle East and the Mediterranean to India and it is hoped that the country would be an exporter of olive oil by the year 2011.
Saplings of high-yielding olives just an inch in size were brought from Israel, grown to a height of 1.5 meters in nurseries and then transplanted to the fields here. The plants will be irrigated with the latest in drip irrigation technology, where the roots are watered directly and nutrients added along with it. This method saves 40% more water than the older method and has been the reason behind the high yield of 2.8 tonnes of olive per hectare in Israel, which they hope to duplicate in Rajasthan
The Future
The Rajasthan government is trying hard to get local farmers interested in olive cultivation. They are being informed about olive oil and its demand both in India and overseas. The low cost and the positive feedback have excited the farmers in the region. The olive trees have been planted in rows which are 7 meters apart, to enable groundnut cultivation in the land between the rows. This would help the farmers to start earning even before the olive trees begin to bear fruit. Olive trees take 3 and a half years to bear fruit and then they keep producing them for more than 500 years. The farmers in Basbisna and 6 other places where the pilot project has been initiated are now waiting for the trees to bear fruit, to see and sell their first olives.
As mentioned, the olives have already been bought by an Israeli firm, which is also setting up an oil pressing plant and is planning to sell the olive oil overseas. All stakeholders are also expecting a rise in domestic demand for olive oil with growing health concerns.  This projected growth is a source of great hope to the hard-working local farmers and the ROCL.
There are however several challenges to be faced in this fledgling attempt to grow olives in Indian soil. In the Israeli desert, temperatures reach a high of 40 degrees Celsius, whereas in Rajasthan it can go up to 49 degrees. The searing heat is aggravated by strong, sultry winds, which can singe the delicate olive trees and destroy them. In the 7 olive plantations however, great pains have been taken to protect the trees from the strong winds. Special bamboo supports have been built for the trees together with sensors to monitor the health of each plant. The trees have also been planted on undulating land, which are encircled by tropical, evergreen forests, which would ensure additional protection from the heat and wind.
Comment: It seems than by future, olives&olive oil business will be moving towards Asia, Africa and America. Let´s see this year the results of these good experiments