To promote olive plantation, Saini goes for unique ‘chai pe charcha’
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To promote olive plantation, Saini goes for unique ‘chai pe charcha’

In an initiative to promote olive plantation, Rajasthan agriculture minister has sent out packets of olive tea to all the legislators, along with a letter seeking their feedback.

jaipur Updated: Mar 12, 2018 21:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan agriculture minister,chai pe charcha,olive plantation
Prabhu Lal Saini.(HT FILE)

It is a ‘chai pe charcha’, but of a different kind. This one is more for promoting a ‘chai’ that has come up as an alternative to green tea and is brewed from olive leaves.

In an initiative to promote olive plantation, Rajasthan agriculture minister has sent out packets of olive tea to all the legislators, along with a letter seeking their feedback.

Saini said the objective behind his move is to create awareness. “In the letter to the MLAs, its benefits are stated. Olive leaves are anti-viral, anti-fungal, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, helps in cardiovascular diseases, is anti-ageing and elevates mood,” the minister said.

It was in collaboration with Israel that Rajasthan started cultivating olives in 2007. The state now cultivates them on more than 1,000 hectares. An olive refinery, country’s first, is operational in Bikaner.

“There is a huge demand for olives in Dubai, United Kingdom and several other countries, but here (in India) there is a lack of awareness. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that his country will learn the technique of processing olive tea from Rajasthan,” said Saini.

When Netanyahu called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 15, he was served olive tea made in Bikaner.

The minister further said that recently, a faculty of Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Vidyasagar University in Midnapore, West Bengal, in a research has found that olive fruit contains triterpenic acid. “This acid can be used for prevention and treatment of cancer, prevents damage to liver, and is anti-oxidant and analgesic.

“Now based on that report, the state government will approach the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Ayush for making medicines for cancer and other diseases,” he added.

Of the 1000 hectares on which olive is cultivated, 182 hectares belong to seven government farms. These government farms are in Barore (Sriganganagar), Bakalia (Nagaur), Lunkaransar (Bikaner), Santhu (Jalore), Basbisna (Jhunjhunu), Tinkirudi (Alwar) and Bassi (Jaipur).

At present seven varieties are being cultivated namely Barnea, Arbequina, Cortina, Picholine, Picual, Korinojki and Frontoy, which are basically for extracting oil. “Now four varieties will be grown for table —Kalamata, Suri, Arkl and Mammoth (for salads) — and two — Mission and Manzanill —for oil extraction and salads.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 21:39 IST