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Also India in the club of olive oil producers

Rajasthan, India's popular tourist state, is famous for its sprawling palaces, historic forts, vast tracts of desert and celebrity weddings. Olives may be added to the list. The state is trying to grow the fruit on a large scale in India for the first time, in its deserts and semi-arid areas, and there are signs of success.

Not only would olive cultivation introduce struggling farmers in the state's ailing and neglected agricultural sector to a lucrative cash crop and boost the local economy. It would also satisfy the growing domestic demand for healthy olive oil in the country, which has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world.

The $3m pilot project, testing olive cultivation across seven agro-climatic regions, is in its third year and on track to deliver olives this year and next. About 112,000, saplings were brought from Israel three years ago and planted across 182 hectares.

by S. C.
15 april 2011, World News > Asia

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