Are olives produced in India? Does Italian pizza imports its most important topping from Italy?

Remember the black olives on the surface of smacked pizza; the fastest growing delicacies in India. Where do these olives come from? Are they of Indian origin or Spanish or Italian?


10 years back, no one had ever thought that olives can grow over here, somewhere in India. Olive oil was found only in pharmacies and medicine shops; or it was a part of salad dressing of the rich.

But the increasing concern of Indian population for health, especially heart diseases, boosted the import of olives and olive oil in our country. Major import was done from Spain and Greece. This led to building up of a dream of producing olive oil in India itself.

Rajasthan Olive Corporation Limited (ROCL) was established in 2007 and about 1.1 lakh olive plants were imported from Israel under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje.

In Sep. 2011, the desert of Rajasthan got its first success after the launch of its auspicious project of growing olives in India. Blooming olives were like a dream come true; mostly because it was a big challenge for India in front of great olive producers like Spain and Italy.

Olives require Mediterranean climate to grow, i.e. rainy winters and hot summers; but Rajasthan was able to overcome the pressure.Government provided olive trees at just Rs. 28 to the Rajasthani farmers; and spent a lot on irrigation system over there. Because she knew, once an olive tree is grown, it will last for at least 150-200 years.

Reports say that 150 tonne of olive fruit was obtained in 2014. Presently Rajasthan has 7-8 large farms on which olives are grown. This area is about 600 acres, that is 2 ½ times more than that in Greece. Slowly, the Rajasthan government is planning to import machinery from Spain for pressing olives for production of olive oil.

Presently, olives market is restricted to pizza toppings. That time is not far away, when Dominos can find its pizza toppings in India itself.