In a few years, that bottle of olive oil sitting in your cupboard may not come from Italy or the Mediterranean. Odds are, it may be from India.
The BBC reports the Land of Spices is gearing up for a massive cultivation of olives this September. Since 2008, more than 144,000 olive trees were planted on almost 642 acres of land in Rajastahn, an arid region located in northwestern India.
Rajastahn's long dry summers and short cool winters offer excellent growing conditions, according to Yogesh Verma from Rajasthan Olive Cultivation Limited, an agency funded by the government.
Wheat and cotton were once popular crops in Rajastahn but, unlike olives, those crops don't thrive in a climate where water is scarce. To encourage olive production, the government is offering subsidies to farmers, many of whom have never heard of olives.
More than 25 tons of olives are expected to be pressed this fall using machinery from Italy.