Special Correspondent

Joins hands with Israeli companies

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan State Agricultural Marketing Board on Saturday signed a tripartite agreement with two Israeli companies to promote cultivation of olive trees in the desert State.

State Agriculture Minister Prabhulal Saini said olive would be cultivated on 210 hectares of Government land at 10 different locations -- which correspond identically to soil and temperature in Israel -- at a cost of Rs. 10 crores.

Board administrator Vipin Chandra Sharma signed the agreement with the representatives of Plasstro and Plasstro Plasson Industries. While the Board and Plasstro Plasson Industries will hold 50 per cent equity each in the newly-formed company, Plasstro will supply technical know-how for the project.

Mr. Saini said the project was aimed at popularising use of olive oil in food preparations by making it affordable to the common man. He said farmers would be involved in the project if its execution on the Government land proved successful. The Minister said the first Rajasthan-Israel partnership would involve value addition in the shape of oil extraction from olive drupes for which a factory would be established in the State.