21 May

A million olive trees to make Indian desert bloom for farmers

By Rhys Blakely,

The desert of Rajasthan in the north of India is to be planted with a million olive trees grown in Israel in an effort to transform the landscape and the fortunes of its struggling farmers.

The countries are finalising a three-year plan on agriculture that will introduce several crops associated with the Middle East and Mediterranean to India. It is hoped that the sub-continent — more famous today for its mangoes and spices — will become an exporter of olive oil by 2011.

Lior Weintrub, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Delhi, said: “The symbolism is significant: an olive tree in the Middle East … well, it means a lot.”

Diplomacy has also paved the way for dates and grapes from Israel to be grown in Maharashtra, a state in western India that has been blighted by tens of thousands of suicides among desperate smallholders in recent years.

Israeli technology companies will be drafted in to lend their expertise on matters such as water recycling and irrigation. In their home country, Israeli scientists have been credited with “greening” the Negev desert, performing what has been termed an agricultural miracle.

Indian olive oil is likely to find a ready market in the West as there is a global shortage of the product amid rising demand.

It is also hoped that the adoption of new crops and farming techniques can be a stepping stone towards a second green revolution in India — the first being the period in the 1960s and 1970s when the introduction of modern methods and new plant varieties radically boosted yields and eradicated famine.

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2 Responses to “A million olive trees to make Indian desert bloom for farmers”

  1. Tang Kok Wais Says:

    Dear Sir,

    I would like to buy fresh olive fruits from your farm.
    I only need 3kg/month to be sent to Malaysia.
    Do you sell them?

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    Tang Kok Wai

  2. Mukesh Dutta Says:

    I want to know that, where i have arrange tree of Olive, i want to grow in my land, i am residing in Yamuna Nagar Haryana

    Pls Help me

    Mukesh Dutta

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