The current range of olives as one of the oldest cultivated plants known to humanity about 2500 years ago is very broad. The total area of olive cultivation is more than 10 million hectares and the number of trees is about 900 million.
About 80% of the world's olive oil is mainly produced in three countries - Spain, Italy and Greece.
According to historians and travelers of VII-X centuries in Azerbaijan, olives were widely cultivated in Shirvan, Arakan regions of Karabakh and Absheron. Today, only Nardaran of Absheron has olive trees aged up to 200 years and more.
There is a group of trees in Ganja and Baku aged over 90 years. At that time, the area of olive plantations in the CIS was estimated to be more than 1500 hectares.
The oldest and largest olive grove in the CIS is Novo Afonek, built in 1879.
Sochi experimental station has old olive trees planted in 1896.
According to the decision of the Ministers Council of the former USSR dated December 4, 1947 the cultivation of olives in the country developed intensively and became of industrial importance. It was also decided to cultivate olives on plantations of 12000 hectares in the region and 3000 hectares on Absheron penisula.
In 1949, a specialized olive farm was organized in Zykh. Now there is a 200 hectare olive grove, with 90% of harvest. There is a 87.8 hectare olive grove in Mashtaga subtropical farm.
In 1962 Baku Olive Processing and Canning factory was established and it was later named Mashtaga Canning Factory. Produced products were exported to many countries in the world.
In 1964, 100 hectare olive plantation was built in Mashtaga saffron farm.
In 1984, the products were awarded with the Gold Medal in Leipzig fair of Germany.
In 1986, the products were awarded with the Gold Medal in Nitra fair of Czech Republic.
At the present stage of development of the olive cultivation, Azerbaijan is the main commodity market on olive products. Here, the total area of the olive reaches 1100 hectares. This plant is spread all over the Absheron peninsula.
In addition to being a plant olives occupies a big area of Baku and Absheron greenhouses. Olives are grown both individually and in groups in Tartar, Aghdam, Barda, Aghdash, Goychay, Goygol, Yevlakh, Mingachevir, Lankaran, Zagatala and other regions of the country.
For the development of olive cultivation in Azerbaijan, Absheron zone is considered to be an ideal territory. It was not accidental that the olive groves covered 3000 hectares of land in Absheron.
Today, out of 1868 hectares of olive plantation, 1556 bring harvest. Nearly 200 hectares of olive groves have been established in Zira over the past two years and seeds were imported from Turkey.