Rajasthan became first Indian state to start Olive refinery

Rajasthan on 3rd October 2014 became the first state of India to start Olive oil refinery. The refinery established at an expense of 3.75 crore rupees in Lunkaransar area of Bikaner was inaugurated by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony, she stated, “I feel proud to announce that Rajasthan has become the first state to have a functioning olive refinery. Soon the petroleum refinery at Barmer will become operative and Rajasthan will be among the most developed states. As the quality of oil produced from the refinery is highly satisfactory, olive farming would benefit the farmers in monetary terms.”  The current production of Olives, which have immense benefits for health, in the state is around 100-110 tonnes annually and expected to grow, the minister said, while adding efforts will also be made to spread awareness about the benefits of the fruit and its oil.
The Vasundhara Raje government, in its earlier term in 2007, had commenced the Olive cultivation project by taking assistance from Israel and planted 1.12 lakh saplings in 7 agro-climatic zones which have started bearing fruit with rich contents. "The project has been very successful and the fruiting is rich with nearly 15 per cent contents. There is huge potential to increase the area under cultivation in Rajasthan, which is two-and-a-half times larger than Greece, the world's third largest producer of olives. Spain, the world's biggest producer which last year accounted for around 50% of total production worldwide, has spent millions of dollars to promote its olive oil domestically and internationally.