The history of olive cultivation reaches back to 3000 BC. For thousands of years olives played an important role in humankind's diet along with other uses such as cosmetics and burning oil. Olives are grown for two main purposes: oil production and table olives.

Today, the growing demand for olive oil encourages the development of the modern irrigated olive orchards and increased density plantations.

Olives are mainly grown in Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Greece, Italy, France and Morocco. In the United States, California has the largest plantings and in the southern hemisphere Argentina is leading in production.

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