With Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje’s visit to Israel in 2006. The sight of an olive farm in a kibbutz in the Negev desert of southern Israel struck the former Rajasthan chief minister as something that could be replicated in her state. On her request, the Israel government agreed to help set up olive groves in Rajasthan, a hitherto failed experiment in India. The Israelis had developed a technology through intensive plantation and drip irrigation that allowed them to grow olive on arid land. Exactly what the then chief minister wanted for her dry state.

The Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited (ROCL) was set up as a public-private partnership with investments from the Rajasthan government and expertise from Indolive, an Israeli olive farming company and Pune-based irrigation equipment manufacturers, Finolex Plasson Industries. In the next six years, seven areas in the state were selected for growing seven varieties of the plant. Cuttings of high yield olive plants were imported from Israel. Drip irrigation, another Israeli invention and a common Indian practice now, was also used. Fertilisers, cutting techniques, soil testing — all the expertise came from Israel.

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