Olive Tea Manufacturing Plant to Open in India

Rajasthan’s new olive leaf tea plant is a collaboration between the Rajasthan Government and a private company.

Feb. 8, 2017
By Julie Al-Zoubi

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An olive tea man­u­fac­tur­ing plant is set to open in the Rajasthani vil­lage of Bassi fol­low­ing a two-year fea­si­bil­ity study. Three olive farms in Jhunhunu, Jaipur and Jalore have been selected for the col­lec­tion of olive leaves.

While Indian olive leaf tea is a fresh brew, global demand for the prod­uct is increas­ing. It is believed that olive leaf tea deliv­ers more health ben­e­fits than green tea and con­tains more anti-oxi­dants and vit­a­min C.
See Also: Rajasthan Olive Cultivation
Rajasthan’s olive leaf tea plant is expected to ini­tially pro­duce around 50 Kilos of tea per day. Tea tasters have been recruited for the plant, which is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Rajasthan Government and a pri­vate com­pany.

The Indian Government is also brew­ing up plans to extract oleic acid, a fun­da­men­tal ingre­di­ent in med­i­cines used to treat heart dis­ease, from Rajasthan’s olive leaves. Yogesh Kumar Verma, chief oper­at­ing offi­cer at Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited explained, If we are able to extract it, it will open fur­ther avenues in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor.”

The olive leaf tea has cre­ated a bit of a stir in India’s tea indus­try. Gagnesh Sharma, deputy direc­tor (tea devel­op­ment) at India’s Tea Board said, As per the coun­try’s Tea Act, any prod­ucts made from the leaves of Camellia sinen­sis kuntze, shrub or small tree can be termed as tea for com­mer­cial pur­poses. Preparations from olive or other plants can be termed herbal con­coc­tions, but not tea in a proper sense.”

The health ben­e­fits of olive leaf tea come from oleu­ropein, a phenylethanoid sourced from olive leaves. Oleuropein has shown to be effec­tive in low­er­ing blood pres­sure, reduc­ing cho­les­terol and pre­vent­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. It is anti-inflam­ma­tory and an anti-can­cer com­pound. oleu­ropein is also believed to ease arthri­tis, strengthen the immune sys­tem, pro­tect against dia­betes and improve brain func­tion. It has been cred­ited with con­trol­ling symp­toms in AIDS suf­fer­ers.

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The olive leaf’s his­tory as a herbal med­i­cine can be traced back to the Bible which advises, The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for med­i­cine.” Olive leaves were used as a treat­ment to bring down fever and cure malaria as long ago as the 1820s.

Rajasthani farm­ers have embraced olive farm­ing due to the gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies they receive for cul­ti­vat­ing the fruit. They also ben­e­fit from rev­enues three to four times higher than from tra­di­tional crops.

Rajasthan’s olive groves were also designed to help the state’s tourism indus­try, which is cen­tered around the Thar Desert. Agriculture min­is­ter Prabhu Lal Saini said, We plan to plant olive trees along­side our desert high­ways and have olive-cov­ered sand dunes. We want the state’s tourism to ben­e­fit from the green­ery that olives are bring­ing, besides the cash farm­ers are get­ting.”

Olive farm­ing has only recently taken off in India. The Northern Indian State of Rajasthan began cul­ti­vat­ing olives in 2008; with saplings imported from Israel which has a sim­i­lar cli­mate to Rajasthan. By 2016, India had launched its own home-grown brand of Raj Olive Oil.”

India’s olive indus­try is largely cred­ited to Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan’s chief min­is­ter.



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