Olive Farming Guide:
Introduction of Olives: – The olive tree is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the regions of Mediterranean, Asia & Africa continent. Until recent years, India had little to do with olive cultivation. Most of the olives or olive oils were imported. Finally In 2007, the Mediterranean plant landed in the state of Rajasthan. Olive is one of the oldest fruits cultivated for centuries throughout the world. Olive is exclusively cultivated for oil purpose. About 90% of oil is extracted from the olive fruit. Olive oil is edible and has therapeutic/medicinal character. Hence olives and its oil have excellent demand in international market. The main production of olives comes from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and adjoining gulf regions. In India, olive cultivation is picking up and in fact, it has already started in Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Rajasthan government announced subsidy programs on olive cultivation. India is optimistic in olive production and future looks bright in olive farming.
Health Benefits of Olives: – Below are the some of the health benefits Olives.
- Olives control the cholesterol level in the blood.
- Olives control and regulate blood pressure.
- Olives are a good source of vitamin “E”.
- Olives are a source of dietary fibre.
- Olives are a source of an antioxidants.
- Olives control Alzheimer’s.
- Olives help in preventing blood clots.
- Olives may prevent cancer.
- Olives help in enhancing fertility.
- Olives help in keeping immune system strong.
Major Production States of Olives in India:- Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Olives Local Names in India:- Jaitun, Jalapai (Hindi), Aliv, Julipe (Kanada), Oliv (Gujrati), Zeitun in (Urdu), Olibh, Jalpai (Bengali), Oleevu, Oli (Malayalam), Jaitun (Punjabi),Saidun (Tamil), Olives (Telugu), Jalphai, (Assamese).
Major Types/Varieties of Olives in India:- Pickle type and Oil type are two major types of Olives.
- Pickle type Olives: Mission,Cornicobra,Ascolano,Grosseune,Picholine &
- Oil type Olives: Coratina,Canino,Aglandeau,Frontoio,Carolea,Pendolino, & Ascolanaterena.
Climate Required for Olive Farming:- Olive cultivation requires warm climate to subtropical conditions. This crop can be cultivated at altitude of 1500 m above the sea level (mean sea level) in India. The most influencing factor in its cultivation is “Temperature”. The optimum temperature range of 15°C to 20°C is ideal for its cultivation. Prolonged dry and hot spells with water stress is not favourable for its cultivation due to fruit drop. Olive’s crop requires about 100 cm of well distributed rain fall during its growth period. This crop is also sensitive to frost conditions.
Soil Requirement for Olive Farming:- Olive crop can be cultivated in wide range of soils. However it requires deep, rich & well-drained loamy or clay loam soils for best growth and yield. To provide good aeration for root development, soil should be about 5 ft deep are well suited for Olive Farming. The deeper soil layer plays major role in olive farming, compared to upper soil for better plant growth. Olive trees cannot with stand water stagnation, which causes the root damage in prolonged period of water logging. The soil pH range 6 to 7.5 is best and ideal for good quality and higher yields.
Propagation in Olive Farming:- In olive cultivation, Propagation can be done either through seeds or cuttings.
- Propagation through seeds: During the months of Sep to Oct, fruits with partial maturity (ripe) should be collected. The stones from fruit pulp should be separated by dipping in caustic soda containing 10 percent Na OH. Make sure stones are washed properly in running water to remove the traces of chemicals. These washed stones should be sown immediately on raised nursery beds. The distance of row-to-row should be 15 cm & seed-to-seed should be 5 cm. For better germination, nursery beds should be irrigated and mulched regularly. The olive seeds start germinating with the onset of spring.
- Propagation through cuttings:- In this method, cuttings of 10 to 15 cm long of pencil thickness having 3 to 4 nods are collected from the parent tree. Then the cuttings should be treated with 500ppm NAA+3,000 ppm IBA for 8 to10 seconds. These cuttings should be planted in a mist chamber. The ideal rooting temperature of 22°C to 26°C should be maintained along with 75% humidify. The roots start emerging after 7 to 8 weeks time. The rooted cuttings should be taken out after 11 to 12 weeks after their plantation. These rooting should be kept in hardening chamber for short period of time. Then these can be transplanted on nursery beds. Planting time depends on the variety.
Seedlings of Olives can be grafted by tongue grafting. The ideal time for grafting is March to April. Patch-budding & i-budding are most effective methods.
Wild olive seedlings can be used as rootstock for propagating commercial varieties.
Land Preparation, Planting and Spacing in Olive Farming:-
Ideal planting time in olive farming.
- Irrigated areas: January to February.
- No irrigation and prolonged drought areas: July to August.
- In heavy rainy areas: Planting should be delayed.
Note: As olive trees are highly sensitive to water stagnation, make sure to provide proper drainage in case of heavy rains and flooding.
Planting distance depends on the soil type, irrigation and crop practices.
- For fertile deep soils with irrigation: Planting distance should be 8 meters, this gives about 150 trees per hectare land.
- For semi dwarf rootstocks are used: Planting distance should be 6 to 7 meters, this gives about 250 to 300 trees per hectare land.
- In rectangle planting: Planting distance should be 6 meter x 5 meter (or) 8 meter x 5 meter, in this method 250 trees or 330 trees per hectare land can be accommodated.
Pits size depends on the soil type. In fertile loamy soils, pits size of 60 cm x 60 cm should be dug where as in poor soils, pits size of 90 cm x 90 cm should be made. These pits should be dug at least 8 weeks before planting the olives. In the pits, add well rotten farm yard manure along with super phosphate in the sub soil. These pits have to be filled with a mixture of soil and fertilizers and then cover up with top soil.
The olive trees should be planted 3 to 5 cm deeper than they were in nursery beds. If the soil is sandy or dry, it is recommended to go further depth for better root development. Some precautions should be taken care while planting, graft union should be kept about 22 to 25 cm above the ground level. Make sure to trim all damaged roots. The plant roots that contain earth ball should be soaked in 1 percent copper sulphate before planting the trees. There are many systems used for layout in olive farming but planting system depends on many factors like cultivars, rootstock used and topography of the land. Rectangular, square, triangular and contour systems can be used for olive plantation.
Irrigation in Olive Farming:- Olive trees require about 100 cm well distributed rain throughout its growth. Irrigate the plants in hot and prolonged dry conditions as needed. Irrigation is needed 1 month before expected flowering. The olive trees should be irrigated after 2 weeks of blooming period. One irrigation should be carried a month after fruit set to stimulate development of fruits.
Weed Control / Inter Cultural Operations in Olive Farming:- Regular weeding and mulching operations ( retaining the moisture) will increase the fruit yield and quality. To control the weeds effectively, Should spray Glyphosate at the rate of 0.18-0.36 kg per hectare crop. This spray can be repeated 2 to 4 times during entire growth. To control the grasses in the field, apply Simazine + Diuron @ 2 kg per hectare crop. To control perennial weeds, apply Gramaxone (2 to3 liters per hectare crop.
Training & Pruning in Olive Farming:- Training and pruning: At the time of planting, about 10 feet of support should be erected. In the case of feathered tree, develop a stem to the height of 40 to 45 cm from the ground level & select 1 branch each to the right and left which should be tied to lowermost wire. Weak laterals should be removed, in the 2nd and 3rd growing seasons develop another set of scaffolds and repeat the process. If weather has clear sky, non-bearing olive trees can be pruned at any time of the year. In case of bearing trees, pruning should be carried out immediately after harvesting to encourage the new growth. Removing of dead branches, injured branches should be carried regularly. Olive trees should be tied to the stake in such a way that it stands firmly without chopping against the stake. In the first 1 or 2 years old trees, a soft gunny thread can be used.
Manures and Fertilizers in Olive Farming:- Following is a suggested fertilizers dose per each olive tree.
- Farm Yard Manure (FMY) = 10 kg/tree.
- N: P: K = 75: 50: 50 grams /tree.
- Super Phosphate = 300 grams /tree.
- Calcium Ammonium Nitrate = 300 grams/tree.
- Muriate of potash = 80 grams /tree.
These fertilizers are for 1 year old trees. They have to be increased in same proportions each year till 10th year of age. From 10th year onwards, these should be stabilized with the same amount that was applied @ 10th year.
As Farm Yard Manure is concerned, just increase 5 kg each year till 10th year.
In Irrigated regions, apply whole amount of potash, phosphate and borax along with well rotten farm yard manure in October month. In case of rain fed conditions, apply @ onset of winter rains.
Nitrogen should be applied in 3 split doses. 1/2 dose of N should be applied with the winter rains or immediately after harvesting the fruits. 1/4th dose of N should be applied 2 months before flowering (Feb to March) and remaining 1/4th dose of N should be applied with monsoon rains (June to July). Farm yard manure along with the nitrogen dose should be distributed evenly in the drip area of the olive tree as a top soil application. However, Phosphatic & Potassic fertilizers along with borax should be applied in about 15 cm deep. Do not forget to irrigate the trees after fertigation.
Pests and Diseases in Olive Farming:- Some of the diseases found in olive farming are Root Rot, Leaf Spot, Diplodia Canker, Olive Knot, Peacock Spot, Phytophthora Crown and Root Rot, Verticillium Wilt. Please contact local horticulture/agriculture department for control measures.
Harvesting in Olive Farming:- Harvesting should be done carefully at right time due to the fact immature olives decreases both in quality and quantity and delaying of harvesting will produce the fruits with oil of higher acidity. Hand picking is most desirable method of harvesting but this method is being an expensive and slow process, it impacts the oil quality, hence one should go for mechanical method. The right time to harvest olives is when oil with a pleasant aroma & good quality is obtained without much bitterness.
In pickle variety, 29 and 30 weeks after flowering is a good time to harvest and to get best oil quality can be obtained. At this point, olive fruits will be in purple black color stage.
Yield of Olives:- Yield of Olives depends upon many factors like crop management, soil, climatic conditions, method of planting and cultivar. An average of 22 to 25 % oil content can be expected from the stones.
Bottom Line of Olive Farming in India:- Commercial cultivation of Olives started in Rajasthan after pilot project went well. Olive cultivation is expected to fetch about 5 times the profits that the farmers in Rajasthan currently fetch from wheat on a hectare land.
To know about Goat and Sheep Farming Information : Read Here.