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The Rajasthan government is all set to launch Olive Tea in August this year and the product would be launched by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, said Prabhu Lal Saini, Agriculture Minister, Government of Rajasthan.
Speaking at Ficci National Agriculture Market Conference in New Delhi on Friday, the Minister said that with this launch, Rajasthan would become first state in entire Asian region to introduce Olive Tea. He said, “ The green tea produced using leaves of olive tree will be helpful for heart patients and also help farmers get additional income.”
The Rajasthan government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private company for marketing and selling of the olive tea. The company will have to share a part of profit with the state government. Under this agreement, an olive tea manufacturing plant has been set up at Bassi near Jaipur.
Around 5,000 acres of land in Rajasthan has been cultivated with olives with the main purpose of producing oil.
“We have set up a refinery in Lunkaransar in Bikaner and processing of leaves is going on. At present, olives are cultivated in Israel, Spain, Morocco, Brazil and Italy. We have sought their assistance to develop olive green tea,” Saini said.
In 2006-07, olive from Israel was introduced in the state for the first time. Rajasthan imported over 1 lakh olive saplings.
The Bassi plant is now operational. The MoU has been signed for next five years and if it is profitable the state government will take 10 per cent of the earned revenue.
Senior officials said that Olive is being produced at eight farms in the state. Parts of three farms including in Jhunjhunu, Jaipur and Jalore have been given to the partner firm for collecting olive leaves.
Seventy five per cent of the farm will be with the partner and 25 per cent will be used by the state government for research and development activities.
The small-scale plant will initially produce nearly 50kg tea on daily basis. The firm has hired tea tasters as well. Under the MoU, the partner company will maintain the farms and manage its expenses.
Saini said that all testings have been done and the state is ready for the launch.
Though olive team market is in nascent stages in India, its international demand is soaring due to its health benefits and its anti-oxidant rich nature. An international brand sells one sachet of olive tea at Rs 28 and its box at Rs 508, according to the officials.
Apart from producing olive tea, the state government is also looking forward to extract oleic acid from olive leaves, which is a major component of most of the medicines used for treating heart ailments.
Saini also highlighted the potential of herbal medicine in tribal areas of Udaipur. He said that the government has set up India’s first Micro Forest Produce Mandi in Udaipur. He said that the tribal region of the state has traded produce worth Rs 1600 crore. The area produce 26 herbs which have medicinal values.