Open access peer-reviewed chapter

# Prospective Adaptation of the Mediterranean Crop Olive in India

Written By

Thangamani Dhandapani, K.B. Sridhar and S. Vimala Devi

Submitted: April 3rd, 2021 Reviewed: October 20th, 2021 Published: January 19th, 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.101313

From the Edited Volume

## Olive Oil

Chapter metrics overview

View Full Metrics

## Abstract

The market for the Mediterranean crop Olive is ever increasing in the Indian Sub-continent. Apart from import, exploring the local possibilities of cultivating Olive in this country is being explored. Adaption and acclimatization of the new crop is always a challenge. Though the country has large areas with similar agronomic regions as that of the native Mediterranean regions, ecological adjustment of the crop to the micro-climate of the new area needs modification of cultural practices. The success of olive cultivation, the challenges encountered, the prospective of making this cultivation a sustainable one by innovative alternate usage is explored in this chapter.

### Keywords

• olive cultivation
• Indian climate

## 1. Introduction

Olives are one of the world class premium oil producing groups of evergreen trees and shrubs, largely found in warm temperate and tropical regions of the world. It is a unique fruit crop which can withstand high temperatures and drought, but requires chilling temperature for fruiting [1, 2]. Olives can grow in wide range of soils like heavy, light, clayey or sandy soils. It belongs family Oleaceae [2, 3]. All the cultivated varieties of olive are diploid (2n = 46). It is a crucial oil yielding crops of the Mediterranean countries and in sector with similar climate alike Cuba, California, New Zealand and South-East Australia. Its nativity in apparently the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea, deriving out of position it has circulated about the basin [4, 5]. Olives are grown mainly for two purposes: fruits for pickling and oil extraction. Apart from this, the fine yellow or light greenish brown hard wood is used for furniture making and the leaves have medicinal value. Earlier olives are confined largely to high end consumers, but now it is gaining popularity world over because of its numerous health benefits.

India has observed olives in consideration of the Buddhist periods as per the mention in the Tripitaka include numerous resources of spoiling jaitavans (Olives) by monks afterwards purchasing lands [6]. In 1885, the beginning olive plantation practice was started towards Kashmir, in an Indo-Italian merger. There is also a mention of other experiments included the Indo-Spanish venture for Himachal Pradesh olive plantations. Neither was successful to cultivate large scale olive production.

## 2. Indian scenario for olives

It is important to note that olive oil is not as costly as recognized in consideration of it is used in 1/3rd the volume of other oils. Also including expands international disclosure, Indians awareness of the assistance of olive oil as edible oil has made consumption of olives and olive oil as a fashion among the middle and the wealthy classes. The During 1970’s, olive oil got great boost due to the health benefits and today olive is an important international trade commodity. Between 2009 and 2010, consumption of olive oil in India grew by 52%. Since 2006, it has shown a cumulative growth rate of 30%. The olive has a high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) and polyphenols which are beneficial for health. It is a prosperous source of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and is exactly free come out of cholesterol. The consumption of olive oil has been chemically advocated to people suffering from hypertension and coronary disease. The fruit has bitter component (oleuropen), a low sugar content (2.6–6%) compare with other drupes (12% or more) and high oil content (12–30%) depending on time of the year and variety. Moreover, it is also rich in minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorus.

The imports of olive oil are ever growing and India meets 100 percent demand of olive oil through introduction, mainly from Europe. According to Indian olive oil association, the demand of olive oil is growing 20 percent annually. Olive oil is finally creating a niche in India’s edible oil market. Due to campaigns like “Olive it Up” and many international companies investing money to develop their brands, the market is widening and Indians are becoming more educated for the quality and use of oils. The 60 percent of the national market is controlled by three companies in India. And 90% of the import is accounted from Spain and Italy. This suggests the potential for cultivation and production of olive oil in the country. Acknowledging the import value of Olive oil, in 2006, the first attempt to cultivate the olives in India was initiated in one district of Rajasthan, but after 15 years, it has spread to five more states. The varieties grown in India are mainly the ones introduced from Egypt, Italy and USA.

## 3. Olive Research and Development in India

The olive cultivation in India is still in its infancy stage apart from Rajasthan, and restricted to a few pockets in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Olive is a tree endures oil-seed crops appropriate toward subtropical climatic surroundings, is mostly mature for its oval shape fruit and that is commonly used for extricate non-drying edible oil and along with eaten basic in soups, salads, pickles etc. The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi has popularized frequent enhanced olive variation beginning at other region that is healthy well beneath Indian environment. India is importing around 68% of cooking oil each year. There is need to abate the import of cooking oil. Olive oil utilization has risen five times arising out of recent ten years. India has an ample capability for olive planting which needs to be explored. The Regions olive oil imports are developing starting of around 14,000 MT in 2013, imports are estimated to develop up to 42,000 MT by 2025. Olives are high in oleic acid, which can help prevent heart diseases. The major deterrent to greater consumption is its price. One liter of extra virgin can cost between Rs 800 and Rs 1000. Presently, Rajasthan is the dominant state for Olive cultivation in India. Subsequent to, 2013 towards 2016, the state has produced in bulk 11574.09 kilograms of olive oil. At the beginning, the state had initiated the olive cultivation on a total range of 182 hectares on government plantation. The olive cultivation has besides attained up to 425.18 ha on farmer’s fields. Seven olive plantation areas are enhancing in different regions of the state. The state had got seven distinct olive category namely Barnea (Origin Israel; purpose: Oil), Arbequina (Origin: Spain; Purpose: Oil), Cortina (Origin Italy; Purpose: Oil), Picholine (Origin France; Purpose: Dual), Picual (Origin Spain; Purpose: Oil), Koroneiki (Origin Greece; Purpose: Oil) &Frantoio (Origin Tuscany, Italy; Purpose: Oil) were imported from Israel. The government is encouraging farmers to plant olives and providing subsidies.

## 4. The first olive experiments which took off from Rajasthan

The India’s tryst along with olive cultivation was established during former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje visited Israel in 2006. She was wonder struck by the olive trees in Negev desert, an arid landscape much like Rajasthan. She took initiative to green the Indian dessert state Rajasthan and immediately, the Mediterranean trees were imported and planted over 180 hectares of state government land with the help of Israeli technology. Unlike in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy where the trees are old and the farming traditional, the Israeli technique is based on intensive plantation. 1, 12, 339 Saplings of 7 olives varieties vizBarnea, Arbequina, Cortina, Koronoiki, Picual, Frontio and Picholine were imported from Israel in 2007. Their rooted cuttings were then hardened at hi-tech nursery in Rajasthan. The plants were irrigated by the latest method i.e., “drip-ferti” irrigation techniques, the method of direct injection, water and nutrients added simultaneously. By 2014–2015, the plants started fruiting in about 13 of the 33 districts of the state. 1300 tones of fruits were harvested in the first season.

After the success of the pilot project, and study of the technical feasibility and economic viability, commercial cultivation of olives started in Rajasthan. Government of Rajasthan determined to encourage the Olive cultivation under public-private partnership in the state and Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited (ROCL). For thus commercialism challenge Rajasthan government had united organization along Pune placed inundation tools Finolex Plasson Industries and Indolive an Israel firm with knowledge in olive cultivation in dessert countries. This includes setting up an oil extraction unit, sale and supply of saplings and equipment, and buying back the fruit. The company also set up an olive press in different districts to extract oil. The oil produced from the olive fruits grown at Rajasthan, is as good as international standards. Though there were some bottlenecks of low production, the next phase was initiated giving importance to the positive results (Figure 1).

Around 200 hectares under the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) and 5000 hectares under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) were brought under the olive cultivation. Farmers are being renewed to cultivate olive trees by offering these free plants and mechanical support.

Seven Olive farms had been developed on state owned land in various agro climate zones with a total area of 182-hectare under intensive farming system. Olive Plantation are arrange beneath almost novel and promote methods based on most recent experience – how and action. The methodological know – how is being attained from different authorities which regularly visit, inspect and monitor the progress of farms. Watering is being complete by computer supervised drop watering method. Provinces are well implemented along composed fertigation and climate depot. Different plantation methods likewise – super intensive plantations, fertigation, plant protection, agronomical practices, leaves diagnosis were undertaken.

## 5. The olive cultivation at Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other states

With the success of Olive cultivation in Rajasthan, Italian companies explored the possibilities at Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir, Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Odisha. Some of these attempts failed, as a result, there was a dire need for importing suitable varieties from different olive producing countries and testing for its establishment and large scale cultivation in suitable agro-climatic zones of the country.

All over, for the olive tree, two Olive worlds Germplasm Banks (OWGB) are shortly initiated, in Co′rdoba (Spain) in 1970 and Marrakech (Morocco) in 2003. The olive germplasm bank of Spain has over 350 cultivars collected from different countries. The olives include about 1250 cultivars from over 50 countries. A large number of the olive collection exits in the gene bank of Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and USA [2]. A core collection on olive genetic resources has been developed from 561 accessions from 14 Mediterranean countries [7]. Existence of a good amount of diversity in world olive collection has been reported by several authors [4].

In an effort to import suitable olive varieties for research purposes in the country from various sources, a total of 108 olive varieties were introduced into India by Indian Council for agricultural research- National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi from USA and Egypt during 2000–2011. The material was provided to the Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH), Srinagar, Kashmir one of the National Active Germplasm Sites (NAGS) of the ICAR-NBPGR. A low success rate was observed in its establishment and only nine varieties viz., Coratina, Frontoio from Egypt and Bouteillon, Dole 0090, Frontoio, Grossa Di Spagna, Leccino, Mission Leiva and Piconia introduced from USA and Egypt survived. Fruiting was observed in three varieties viz., Coratina, Frontoio and Leccino [8].

The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture, India gave permission for bulk import of seed/planting material for cultivation purposes. Therefore, several olive varieties were also introduced into India, by various government and private agencies for cultivation purposes. These varieties were reported to be maintained by the State Horticultural agencies of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. An Indian corporation, in a concerted deal along a Spanish corporation, has declared a project over 300 hectares in Himachal. The Kashmir State is measuring with the 60 varieties attained from the U.S., Egypt and Italy.

Olive is not a native of this country, there is certain dependence for diverse germplasm from major olive producing countries. Olives thrive well in Mediterranean like climate, therefore a certain location in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand in India are suited for growing olives in India. A good amount of diversity is present in the olive varieties from Spain, Italy Greece and other countries and there is a potential for growing those varieties in India under suitable agro-climatic region. The systematic germplasm screening and evaluation of olives in India will have significant impact on Indian olive cultivation. In other areas, use of optimum agricultural practices such as drip irrigation is also being attempted for the large scale cultivation. The diverse agro-climatic conditions in India, including the poor and marginal soil can be efficiently utilized for olive production using modern agronomic practices.

## 6. Cultivation in new areas

With the success of ROCL in Rajasthan, Olives have now caught the fancy of other states. ROCL has distributed4.5 lakhs saplings to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh and North-Eastern states. It is also helping states such as Haryana, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir to set up pilot olive plantations. As per the Indian Olive Association, a federation of olive importers and traders estimates a 40% growth in olive consumption annually. Gujarat, more, is experimentation along 84,000 plants at its cultivation educational institution. Those states need to takings benefits of the commotion in appeal for table olives and olive oil. The Nashik Valley in Maharashtra and the Nandi Hills near Bangalore has similar climate as that of Mediterranean region, hence these pockets also is being explored for olive cultivation.

## 23. Raj olive India’s indigenous oil brand

The oil contented in the fruit collected ranged from 9 to 14 per cent. The oil content of the olive in other countries varies between 12 and 16 per cent. The state will be launching its olive oil under the brand ‘Raj Olive Oil’. One and other extra virgin and virgin oils are built by automated technique and are not chemically considered. The acceptable common of free fatty acids is greater in a virgin olive oil in comparison to the additional virgin variation. The country’s olive oil imports are developing at a quick clip - from around 14,000 MT in 2013, implication are projected to shoot up to 42,000 MT by 2025 as progressively Indians favor olive oil for its healthy aspects. It’s plenty as oleic acid amount, which can help prevent heart diseases. According to ROCL, India currently imports 14,500 metric tons of olive oil from countries like Spain, Italy and Greece, and the bottled varieties of extra virgin and pomace olive oil charge amount amid of Rs 700 and Rs 1000 a liter. Although the price of olive oil build upon international charges, we can encourage that indigenously-produced oil will be low cost than those transported.

## 24. Deterrents to greater oil consumption

The studies have been carried out in the west of the Mediterranean, the following oils such as Arbequina, Carrasquena, Cornicabra, Del Pomet, Hojiblanca, Llumero, Picudo, Seniero, Serrana and some Villalonga contains more than 80% of oleic acid. Lipids are important foods provide nutrition, among the total energy 30% has been intake from the lipids, intake of lipid percent has been dependable with age, weight, and possible sensitivities to pathologies of the consumer, hence among the total lipid intake 12 and 20 per cent has to be monounsaturated fats. Therefore, the active component characterization of monovarietal oils is essential at the moment, there is a clear need to replace the current industrial pastries made with different types of oils and fats, with EVOO product and the daily utilization of amidst 5 and 10 fruits or vegetables. Olive oil utilization has seen develops in the last couple of years as customers are becoming attain of the useful of olive oil management and its aftermath on health. There are three main types of olive oil Extra-virgin, Refined and pomace.

The pomace olive in 2017 assumed as the best contribution in expressions of profit in the Indian olive oil market and is expected to develop at a constant growth rate amid the predicted timings. These are applying to the pomace olive oil being a more comfortably costing and gladly accessible olive oil variety. Although the pomace olive oil is prepared, it is still investigated aim proved substitute to other oils in the market and hence is in high requirement as in comparison to the other different types of olive oils. However A deterrent to greater consumption has been its price - an imported one liter bottle of extra virgin can cost between Rs 800 and Rs 1000. A domestically produced one can be cheaper.

## 25. Medical authorities’ recommendations

Olive oil possesses lot of medicinal properties. The high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), particularly oleic acid, it plays vital role in nutrition, and contains high concentrations of polyphenols, tocopherols and phytosterols, it is important antioxidants and olive oil has been used as important nutrients in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil prevents neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease) and also acts as a cardiovascular and cerebral-vascular protector, due to these medicinal properties many neutraceutical industry has been working with olive oil. All these characteristics make EVOO an essential food component for health. EVOO, also vernacularly known as “liquid gold” is a natural product of inarguable value and not only in the financial sense of the term but also for its renowned properties and advantages on health. It is one of the recommended foods for its nutritive and is essentially a required of the MED, given that to the aspects connected with it.

Based on the chemical structures of EVOO, its coming under the lipophilic products since lipids is the main constituents, primarily MUFA, found by PUFA. This lipid fragments is responsible for preventive properties on cardiovascular disease, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, provide anti-thrombotic and regulation effects of blood pressure although in a smaller quantities, other compounds such as tocopherols or polyphenols are also present, which are combined with the potent antioxidant and inflammatory activity of EVOO, among other features.

Oleic acid is oil that has the capability to reduce the effects of oxidative stress in the human body, the regulation of the levels of LDL-cholesterol without alteration of HDL-cholesterol and it consequently reduces the risk of heart attacks and other cardiac pathologies. Corresponding to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1 tbsp, or 13.5 grams (g) of olive oil, contains 119 calories, 13.5 g of fat, among that 1.86 g is saturated fat rest of it unsaturated and also it provide vitamin E 1.9 milligrams (mg) and 8.13 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, apart from that in consists calcium and potassium, as well as polyphenols, tocopherols, phytosterols, squalene, and terpenic acids and other antioxidants. In the Spanish pharmacopeia as well as in other European pharmacopeias, a wide assessment is assigned to the treatment with of olive oil, thus it is recommended as in injectables, because of an accurate role in gynecology, in childhood to old ages. The authors of A Practical Guide on Medicinal Plants indicate that olive oil contains very beneficial oleic acid, phitosterina lecithin and enzymes, in addition to a bitter principle and pigments.

## 26. Conclusion

Government of India is promoting Olive cultivation under the National Mission on Oil seeds and Oil palm. The diverse agro climatic conditions in India, including the poor and marginal soils can be efficiently utilized for olive production. The government of India’s ambitious target of doubling farmer’s income can be easily achieved by promotion of Olive plantations in the country. Israeli methodology has grant Rajasthan develop into the core for India’snew-begin love for olives. Rajasthan’s tryst with olives and its achievement can now motivate further-more states to approve plantation of this tree, particularly on arid regions. ROCL has distributed nearly 4.5 lakh seedlings to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, UP and NE. In 2017–2018 India imported 10914.86 metric tonnes of oil. That could have huge implications on the livelihood of people in the region. Olea europaeaL. (Olive Tree) oil considered as golden ingredient in the diet by all food and medical expert across the globe, in addition to offering characteristic organoleptic properties, provides substances capable of preventing the appearance or development of diseases of various nature, from heart and circulatory diseases to metabolic disorders, including carcinogenic processes. To add superior plants to the cultivators, the state government, with Israel’s help, has set up a centre of greatness at Jaipur’s Bassirange.

## References

1. 1. Bandelj D, Jakse J, Javornik B. Assessment of genetic variability by microsatellite and AFLP markers. Euphytica. 2004;136:93-102
2. 2. Caballero JM, Río DC. The olive world germplasm bank of Spain. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS). 2008;791:31-38
3. 3. Ruguni E, Biasi R, Muleo R. Olive (Oleaeuropea var. sativa) transformation. In: Jain SM, Minocha SC, editors. Molecular Biology Of Woody Plants. Switzerland, AG: Springer Nature; Vol.2. 2000. pp. 245-279
4. 4. Barranco D, Trujillo I, Rallo P. Are ‘Oblonga’ and ‘Fantoio’ the same cultivar? Hort Science. 2000b;35:1323-1325
5. 5. Baldoni L, Pellegrini M, Mencuccini M, Angiolillo A, Mulas M. Genetic relationships among cultivated and wild olives revealed by AFLP markers. Acta Horticulturae. 2000;521:275-284
6. 6. Available from:https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/world/indias-new-olive-oil-sector/26530
7. 7. Haouane H, El Bakkali A, Moukhli A, Tollon C, Santoni S, Oukabli A, et al. Genetic structure and core collection of the World Olive Germplasm Bank of Marrakech: Towards the optimised management and use of Mediterranean olive genetic resources. Genetica. 2011;139(9):1083-1094
8. 8. Verma N, Shaheen R, Yadav SK, Singh AK. Olive (Oleaeuropea L.) introduction in India: Issues and prospects. Vegetos. 2012;25(2):44-49
9. 9. Pantera A, Burgess PJ, Losada RM, Moreno G, López-Díaz ML, Corroyer N, et al. Agroforestry for high value tree systems in Europe. Agroforestry Systems. 2018;92:945-959
10. 10. Mantzanas K, Papanastasis V, Pantera A, Papadopoulos A, Burgess AP. System report: Olive agroforestry in Kassandra. Chalkidiki, Greece, Thessaloniki: Aristotle University; 2015. p. 8
11. 11. Rosati A, Mantovani D. System Report: Intercropping of Olive Orchards In Italy by Council for Research in Agriculture and the Analysis of Agricultural Economics - Research Center for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina, Rome, Italy; 2015. p. 8
12. 12. Paris P, Camilli F, Rosati A, Mantino A, Mezzalira G, Dalla Valle C, et al. What is the future for agroforestry in Italy? Agroforestry Systems. 2019;93:2243-2256
13. 13. Mantino A, Ragaglini G, Tozzini C, Cappucci A, Mele M, Bonari E. Yield and nutritive value of alfalfa (Medicago sativaL.) in an olive (OleaeuropaeaL.) alleycropping practice. In: Book of Abstract 3rd European Agroforestry Conference. France: Montpellier; 2016. pp. 403-406
14. 14. Sofo A, Manfreda S, Dichio B, Fiorentino M, Xiloyannis C. The olive tree: A paradigm for drought tolerance in Mediterranean climates. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions. 2007;4:2811-2835
15. 15. Daoui K, Fatemi ZE-A. Agroforestry systems in Morocco: The case of olive tree and annual crops association in Saïs Region. In: Science Policy and Politics of Modern Agricultural System. Netherlands: Springer; Chapter 19. 2014. p. 281
16. 16. Razouk R, Daoui K, Kajji A, Ramdani A, Chergaoui A. Optimization of rain-fed intercropping system based on olive trees and annual crops in Northern Morocco. Montpellier: Third European Agroforestry Congress; 2016
17. 17. Temani F, Bouaziz A, Daoui K, Wery J, Barkaoui K. Olive agroforestry can improve land productivity even under low water availability in the South Mediterranean. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2021:307
18. 18. Ponozzo A, Bernazeau B, Desclaux D. Durum wheat in organic olive orchard: Good deal for the farmers. Agroforestry Systems . 2019;94:707-717

Written By

Thangamani Dhandapani, K.B. Sridhar and S. Vimala Devi

Submitted: April 3rd, 2021 Reviewed: October 20th, 2021 Published: January 19th, 2022