A landmark collaboration between India and Israel is coming to fruition as Rajasthan prepares for its first-ever, large-scale olive oil extraction next month. The first drops of the Indian-grown fruit’s elixir are expected to lead to an anticipated yield of 8,000 to 10,000 litres of “Raj Olive Oil” set to hit the open market by year’s end.
The pilot project was launched in 2007 when a delegation of farmers and agronomists from India visited Israel to determine the economic and agricultural feasibility of olive tree cultivation in their homeland. The Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited (ROCL) was incorporated soon thereafter. The public-private partnership between the government of Rajasthan’s agricultural board, India-based Finolex Plasson Industries, and Pune and Indolive Industries of Israel then began in earnest through the importing of seven varieties of olive trees from Israel to the northeastern Indian state.
Following the very first of the trees’ fruit harvest last season, the olive oil produced was auctioned to a private company. With all systems now on solid ground, the group is ready for its first go at a public offering and ROCL estimates that the olive oils (both virgin and extra virgin) will be available at approximately one-third of the cost of the imported oils currently on the market.