29 September, 2020

A Zest For Zeytoons

Israel-assisted olive plantations could change Rajasthan's desert landscape

A Zest For Zeytoons
Extra Virgin
  • An ambitious experiment to grow olives is under way in Rajasthan
  • Under Israeli supervision, 1,00,000 saplings of high-yielding olives from Israel were planted in seven locations
  • Measures have been taken to protect the saplings from harsh desert winds and sun. They should bear fruit in 2 years.
  • The project is a collaboration between the state government and private Israeli and Indian companies
  • Domestic demand for olive oil is growing fast in India. Between 2006-07, imports grew by 53 per cent.


If an agricultural experiment currently under way in Rajasthan bears fruit, local delicacies like laal maas and ker sangri may soon acquire an exotic flavour—the fruity aroma of olive oil. Some 160 km from Jaipur, along a broken dusty road, a thirty-hectare field near the tiny village of Basbisna is the site of this ambitious experiment. This unpromising patch of land, a mixture of sandy soil and scrub jungle,...


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