Olive (Olea europea L.) Introduction in India: Issues And Prospects
Verma Nidhi*, Shaheen Reshma, Yadav S K, Singh Anil Kumar1
National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi-110012
1ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna-800 014
*Corresponding author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olive (Olea europea L.) a tree borne oilseed crop suited to subtropical climatic conditions, is primarily grown for its oval shape fruit which is widely used for extracting non-drying edible oil and also eaten raw in soups, salads, pickles etc. It is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and absolutely free from cholesterol. Olive oil is gaining popularity because of its numerous health benefits. Olives are very common in the mediterranean region due to its climatic adaptation. The worldwide olive oil production is upto 460 million gallons and Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey and Syria are the largest producers of olive in the world. India meets hundred percent requirements of olive oil through imports, mainly from European countries. The current requirement of India (2012–13) is likely to touchdown 50000 tonnes annually. Olive is an introduced crop in India and its cultivation is still in its infancy stage. The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi, has introduced many improved olive varieties from different countries, which are thriving well under Indian conditions. The trait specific introductions in olives were established and evaluated for climatic adaptation in India. Keeping in view the economic importance of olive oil and its potential to thrive under Indian conditions, this paper discusses about the current status of olive introduction and future strategy for making India self sufficient in olive production.