`Olive Farming Project in India Fails to Take Off

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Olive Farming Project in India Fails to Take Off

Aug. 22, 2011
Vikas Vij

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India’s lead­ing agri­cul­tural state of Pun­jab has failed to exe­cute its ambi­tious olive cul­ti­va­tion project that was launched with much fan­fare in 2008.

The gov­ern­ment-con­trolled Pun­jab Agro Indus­tries Cor­po­ra­tion (PAIC) had announced its plans to intro­duce olive farm­ing with a view to diver­si­fy­ing the state’s agri­cul­tural bas­ket. PAIC selected the Israeli olive cul­ti­va­tion firm Indo­live as its part­ner for the project.

Ini­tial ground­work on the project was car­ried out by PAIC’s sub­sidiary Agri Exports Cor­po­ra­tion (Pagrexco). It stud­ied Indolive’s suc­cess­ful olive plan­ta­tion project in the Indian desert state of Rajasthan. PAIC iden­ti­fied 400 acres of land for the project at Lad­howal in Pun­jab with an aim to repli­cate the suc­cess achieved in Rajasthan.

How­ever, a recent inquiry made into the progress of the project by a lead­ing Indian news­pa­per has revealed that the much-pub­li­cized launch of the project was never fol­lowed up with real action on the ground.

The author­i­ties have admit­ted that no olive vari­ety was selected for the project. Poor plan­ning, lack of research, and a fail­ure to main­tain proper mon­i­tor­ing of the project on part of the state gov­ern­ment led to the project’s nat­ural death even before its incep­tion.

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