President Dalmia, India decided to invest so much in olive oil market. Somebody is talking about a new Olive orchard model in the area called Rajasthan. Particularly they are intentioned to invest using very modern and high technologically irrigated systems. Why are you spending so much attention to olive cultivation?
In reality, I do not think that India is paying great attention to olive cultivation. The interest and attention is only just starting now. The entrepreneurs who are investing in olive cultivation now are courageous entrepreneurs because they are doing something new in India. There is no precedent, yet they are bravely taking a risk. It will be 2013 or later that their investments will begin to provide returns. The Rajasthan project is a pioneering project and the first of its kind in India.
In Rajasthan, the project is being undertaken in collaboration with an Israeli producer of olive oil. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan state, on a visit to a kibbutz in Israel, was impressed by their olive cultivation using drip irrigation for dry land farming in difficult circumstances, conditions similar to the dry desert state of Rajasthan. She was impressed enough to invite Israeli collaboration for similar projects in Rajasthan. At present, the project is only a pilot project on 250 hectares of land where the State Government of Rajasthan has provided the land, the Israeli firm has provided the technical expertise and an Indian firm has provided the seed capital. So it is a 3-way collaboration. Since this is the first project, it cannot be said that we are paying great attention to olive cultivation. At present, it is merely a trickle.
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