More Horticulture

Scope of olive cultivation in Pakistan

By Muhammad Shoaib Ahmedani*, Shehbaz Ahmed Warraich**
*Ph.D. Scholar, department of Entomology, UAAR.
** Dean Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences, University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi.

1: Introduction:

There is a lot of potential for olive cultivation in Pakistan. The estimates have revealed that if eight million wild olive trees present in different provinces are grafted and converted into the productive olive then there is a potential of earning a maximum of one billion dollars annually (Table-4). Similarly, we may earn a maximum of 9 billion dollars annually if olive cultivation is made on cultivable potential waste lands (Table-5). The olive appears to have been native to Asia, being one of the earliest trees cultivated by man. The trees belong to oleaceae family and comprise 30 genera with 600 species. The plant is xerophitic upon species of tree the olea-europea or Europium olive. Olive is an integral part of the diet of the people of the Mediterranean lands and is a source of fat in diet of these people. Olive oil is widely used in countries where fats are scarce. In Indo-Pak sub-continent a wild olive, olea cuspida is found within the northwest Himalayas and other adjoining hills but cultivated olive olea Europea is not grown anywhere on commercial scale. This plant is locally known as Zytoon in Urdu, Showan in Pushtu, Khat in Brahavi and kow in Punjabi, Sindhi and Saraiki. The importance of olive oil has also been narrated several times in the Holy Quran. During the mid of last century;( around 1950s), a number of grafted olive plants of several varieties were imported and planted in Kashmir, Simla and Kangra hills at Harnai, Fort Sandeman (Zhob) in Balochistan, Peshawar, Swat (NWFP), Rawalpindi, Sargodha, and Jhelum (Punjab) districts.

1.2: BOTANICAL PERSPECTIVE OF OLIVE

 

Genera

Ø  Fraxinus

Ø  Ligustrum

Ø  Syringa

Ø  Olea ( olive

 

CULTIVARS OF Olea europaea

 

Ø  Nocellara del belice

Ø  Nocellara

Ø  Biancolilla

Ø  Coratina

Ø  Carolea

Ø  Ottoberitica

Ø  Leccino

Ø  Pendolino

Ø  Uslo

Ø  Gemlik

Ø  Domate

Ø  Moraiolo

1.3 OLIVE VARITIES

Alfonso

Alfonso

These are very large purplish olives. They have a distinctive acidic bite.

 

Arbequina

These are very small, even tiny olives that are a medium brown color. They originate in Spain (the Siurana district in Catalonia) and are characterized by a small amount of pleasantly bitter flesh on each olive. They are always brine cured. This olive is also   prized for making excellent olive oil.

 Ascolane

FAscolanerom the Italian Cuneau district, this is a very large and meaty olive with a delicate flavor.

 

 

Atalanti

AtalantiNamed for the town of Atalanti in eastern Greece on the Aegean Sea. These green olives are rather pale/gray in color, medium round, and have a “zingy” flavor.

 

Dry Cured

OfteDry Curedn cured in sea salt in order to draw out the moisture from the olive over a period of several weeks. After this period is ready to eat. Typically these olives are stored in a little olive oil.

 

 

Elitses

ElitsesA Greek olive not unlike a French Nicoise olive. Its color ranges in color from purple to black. It is a small olive with little flesh.

 

 

Farga Aragon
Farga AragonA Spanish olive from the Aragon district. It is brine cured, deep brown, and tender fleshed.

 

 

 

GaGaetaeta

A famous black olive from Greece. It has a moderately pungent and “deep” flavor.

 

 

Kalamata

KalamataA variety of Greek olives that originate from the city of Kalamata in the Southern Peloponnese of Greece. Kalamata olives are pickled in wine vinegar. The pickling process develops a very pronounced flavor of salt and vinegar. They have a very meaty flesh which is strong in flavor.

 

Manzanilla

ManzanillaThis green olive originates in Spain in the Andalousia district. It is medium sized with a flavor reminiscent of almonds. It goes particularly well with tapas and sherry.

 

 

Nafplion

NafplionNamed for the small seaside town in Greece, this is a small, green olive with a nutty flavor.

 

 

Nicoise

NicoiseFrench Nicoise olive. Its color ranges in color from purple to black. It is a small olive with little flesh.

 

 

 

1.4: OLIVE FROM RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE

 

The divine revelation Quran deals some species of plants including Mustard tree or tooth brush tree, Acacia, Onion, Pomegranate, Grape, Fig, Euphorbia, Sweet basil, Gourd, Cucumber,  Garlic, Lentil, Ginger, Heena, Cedar, Date, KoranManna, Tamarisic, Cactus-Bitter, Blessed Tree and  Olive.

Olives have been mentioned seven times in the Quran and their health benefits have been propounded in Prophetic medicine.

Ø  By the fig and olive And the mount of Sinai And the city of security We have indeed created man in the best of moulds (The Fig, Surah 95)

Ø  “ Zaithun is a plant of useful characters neither of east nor west” (Sura Noor – 35).

Ø  Allah is the one who sends water down from the sky therewith we brought froth plants of all kinds and from them the verdure and we brought forth from it the clustered grains, and from the palm trees its spathes with bunches of dates, the gardens of grapes, olive and pomegranates, similar and different look at their fruit when they bear it and their ripeing, varity in that their signs for people who believe (Quran 6:99)

Ø  And a tree (olive) that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows (produces) oil, and (it is) relish for the eaters.   ( 23:20 )

Ø  He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date-palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit (16:10-11)

The Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said: Take oil of olive and massage with it – it is a blessed tree.

Ø   Hazrath Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is cure for seventy diseases in it, one of them is Leprosy.” (Abu Naim)

Ø  Hazrat Zaid Bin Arqam narrates, “ We have been directed by the Prophet (Pbuh) that we should treat the Pleurisy with Qust-e-Behri (Qust Sheerin) and olive oil.” (Tirmizi, sanadeAhmed, Ibn Maja)

Ø  Hazrat Sayyed Al-Ansari narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) said “Eat the olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is a holy (mubarak) tree.” (Tirmizi, Ibn Maja)

Ø  Hazrat Alqama Bin Amir narrates that Prophet (Pbuh) said, “ There is olive oil for you, eat it, massage over your body, since it is effective in Heamorrhoids (Piles).” (Ibn Al-Jozi, Zanbi)

Ø  Hazrat Aqba Bin Amir narrates that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated, “You have the olive oil from this Holy (mubarak) tree, treat yourself with this, since it cures the Anal fissure (Basoor).”

BibleIn the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, Was there the Tree of Life, Which bare twelve manner of fruit every month: And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-2

 

 

A breath which comes from this world shakes the branches of the Tree of Life,

Torah

Which spreads the fragrance of the future world in this world, And brings the holy souls alive. These souls come up waking each other . . And the Tree of Life rejoices. The Zohar III, 1731

 

 

There is a tree, the root of Transmigration, the Asvattha Tree everlasting. Its branches spread from earth to heaven, and the powers of nature give them life.

Its buds are the pleasures of the senses. Far down below, its roots stretch into the world of men, binding a mortal through selfish actions. Men do not see the changing form of that tree, nor its beginning, nor its end, nor where its roots are? Bhagavad-Gita 15:1-5

1.4 SECRET OF OLIVE TREE

 The secret of the olive tree is in two things: its fruit, the olive itself, and its massive underground root system that can extend over twenty feet. The roots are so extensive and strong that in times of drought, when other trees die, the zaytuna tree is still standing because it draws from deep within the earth when the heavens withhold their life-giving water. Another aspect of these roots is that they enable the tree to produce olives for hundreds of years: even after the tree looks as if there is no life left in it, it continues to produce olives.

Chemical composition of Olive: Oleic acid, stearic acid, Myristic acid, palmatic acid, linolic acid, arachidic acid and non-drying acid.

 

Chemical composition of Olive: Oleic acid, stearic acid, Myristic acid, palmatic acid, linolic acid, arachidic acid and non-drying acid

1.5: OLIVE FRUIT TYPES AND NUTRIONAL VALUE

 

 

  1. Fresh olive at the picking stage. [To the lower right is a sectioned olive showing the stony endocarp (pit) surrounding the seed.
  2. Fresh olive that is turning black on tree.
  3. Pitted, canned olive treated with ferrous gluconate.
  4. Pitted, canned green olive stuffed with pimento, a bright red Capsicum pepper cultivar. Fresh olives are soaked in lye (sodium hydroxide) to remove the bitter oleuropein. Commercially grown olives are picked green and are oxidized in air (aerated) to produce the black color. The black color of canned olives is stabilized with ferrous gluconate. Oxidation is prevented in green olives to preserve their color.

 

Unlike most unsaturated plant oils which come from seeds, monounsaturated olive oil is obtained from the pulp or mesocarp of the fruit. Virgin olive oil is obtained from the 1st pressing.

1.5.1: Composition of olive fruit

 

Table-1 Showing Chemical composition of olive fruit

 

PART WT/% Water% Oil % Nitrogen Compounds % CARBON

Compounds %

FIBRE

%

ASH%
FUIT 1.5-10 45-55 13-28 1.5-2 18-24 5-8 1-2
PULP 70-85% 50-60 15-30 2-4 3-7 3-6 1-2
ENDOCARP

(Guthli)

13-25% 10 0.7 3.3 79 4
SEED 2 – 4 % 30 27 10 29 1.5
  1. NUTRITIONAL IMPORTANCE OF OLIVE

 

Ø  The Vitamin E contained in Olives is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Anti-oxidants help to strengthen the body’s immune system; reducing the severity of asthma, cancer, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, premature ageing, as well as delaying the effects of ageing.

Ø  Olives contain compounds called polyphenols that appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Imam as-Suyuti comments that in using olive oil as a balm, you fortify your limbs and as a result reduce inflammation.

Ø  The juice of the olive, otherwise known as olive oil (Zayt), is a delicious source of antioxidants. This oil is monounsaturated, and it has a positive effect on the cholesterol level in our blood streams, by helping to reduce it. Monounsaturated fats are an important part of our diets. These oils act to keep cholesterol from sticking to our artery walls, and thus combating against diseases such as heart disease and strokes. Not only that, but they help to control blood sugar, a big plus in offering protection against Diabetes.

  1. NUTRITIONAL IMPORTANCE OF OLIVE

Ø  The Vitamin E contained in Olives is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Anti-oxidants help to strengthen the body’s immune system; reducing the severity of asthma, cancer, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, premature ageing, as well as delaying the effects of ageing.

Ø  Olives contain compounds called polyphenols that appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Imam as-Suyuti comments that in using olive oil as a balm, you fortify your limbs and as a result reduce inflammation.

Ø  The juice of the olive, otherwise known as olive oil (Zayt), is a delicious source of antioxidants. This oil is monounsaturated, and it has a positive effect on the cholesterol level in our blood streams, by helping to reduce it. Monounsaturated fats are an important part of our diets. These oils act to keep cholesterol from sticking to our artery walls, and thus combating against diseases such as heart disease and strokes. Not only that, but they help to control blood sugar, a big plus in offering protection against Diabetes.

4- OLIVE OIL, QUALITY AND GRADES

 Definition

Ø  Olive oil – obtained solely from olives

Ø  Excludes oil extracted by solvents or reesterification  processes, or any mixtures with other oils

Ø  Pure olive oil cannot be any olive residue oils

Ø  Virgin Oil

Ø  Mechanically pressed from olive fruit without using heat – cold pressing

Ø  Only washed, decantation, and centrifugation (natural product)

Ø  May have vintage years on label

 Grades of Virgin Oil

Ø  Virgin Olive Oil Extra

-Extra Vergine (Italian)

-Vierge Extra (French)

Ø  Pure unadulterated oil from top quality olives

Ø  Perfect taste and odor

Ø  Max of 1% acid and strong odors

Other Olive Oils

 Ø  Virgin Olive Oil Fine or Fino

-Almost perfect taste but 1.5%  acid

Ø  Semi-fine or Ordinary Olive Oil

-Good taste maximum acidity 3.3%

Ø  Virgin Olive Oil Lampante>3.3%

-Not for human consumption

Poorer Grades

Ø  Refined oils

-Caustic soda used to purify virgin oil from cull fruits

Ø  Blended oil

-Blend of refined and virgin oil Most imported olive oil in USA

 Residue Oil

Ø  Olive-residue oil obtained by treating pomace with solvents

5- AGRO-CLIMATIC, NUTRIONAL AND OTHER  REQUIREMENTS FOR OLIVE CULTIVATION

A deep fertile soil and temperatures averaging 50F but never going below 14 F are desirable. Irrigation is often necessary although the plant bears drought to a great extent in irrigated areas. Olive trees need winter rest for 60-80 days to differentiate flower buds and an average temperature of 7 C. About 500 -1000 hours are required in the winters depending upon the cultivars. The maximum absolute temperature should not exceed +20 C during November to February. It can tolerate gradual drop of temperature up to -10 C for a short period. The best olive production and fruit quality occurs in areas having mild winter and long warm dry summer. The neutral and light saline soils with 5% clay particles are suitable for the olive with the best soil pH range 5.6-8.5. It should not be less than 6 and more than 8. The plant requires nitrogen but Boron deficiency could cause a serious problem during its growth.

 

5.1: LAND PREPARATION:

Soil should be well ploughed before plantation of olive. Pits of size 2.5 x 2.5 feet should be dug a month before plantation. It should be filled with Matti : Bhal : FYM at ratio of 1:1:1.

  1. PLANTING TIME:

                                                Trees can be planted during spring and fall. However fall is best if there is no likelihood of frost during winter.

  1. PLANTING GEOMETRY:

Trees are planted in square with equal line to line and plant to plant distance. 6×6, 7×7 or 8×8 meter distance yields best results. There may be 80 to 110 trees in an acre.

5.2. IRRIGATION REQUIREMENTS:

                                                Although Olive is a hardy tree, yet it requires timely irrigation during the early two years. In Barani reas annual rainfall shoud be betwwen 400-500 mm. If it does not rain, trees should be irrigated twice or thrice in ayear.

  1. Before Flowering            2. After Flowering         3. 30-45 dayes before fruit maturing

5.3:Chilling Requirement  For Cultivation of Olive

 Optimum Flowering if chilling temps

                                                Maximum 60 to 65oF

Minimum 35 to 40oF

Poor flowering if

                                                Constant 55oF

No flowering if

                                                No temp > 45oF or < 60oF

 

5.4: Pollination Requirements:                                        

                                                Monoecious

                                                Flowers borne axially along shoot in panicles

                                                Self and cross pollination occurs

5.5: Fertilizer requirement 

Phosphorous + Potash at rate of 300 + 200/ Hectare at time of land preparation, repeated after 3-4 Years.

Table-2: Fertilizer requirement from sowing to flowering

 

AGE OF TREE NITROGEN/TREE TIME OF APPLICATION
1 YEAR 60-80 gm Thrice April to July
2 YEAR 200-250gm Twice equally –       At sprouting

–       During June

3 YEAR 300 gm -At Sprouting      200g

-During June       100g

4 YEAR 400 gm -Before flowering 300g

-At fruit setting    100g

5 Year 500 gm -Before flowering 300g

-At fruit setting    200g

6: Harvesting of fruit   

Olive fruit matures during August to September.  Harvesting is accomplished by following methods.

– Picking singly. Good quality oil/pickle, Expensive mode

-Shaking branches and collecting of dropped fruit

-Mechanically : Machine grips trunk and shakes branches. 80% harvesting.

6.1: Preparation of pickle:

For pickle, fruit is harvested when it is light green. After washing with water fruits are  put in 1-2% NaOH for 36-48 hours. Later on fruits are taken out and washed 5-6 times and then put in 6-8% Nacl solution for 14-21 days. Later on the fruits are washed and put in vinegar.

Preparation of oil:

6.2: For  Oil:  fruits are harvested during October when these are purplish. Later on these are mechanically crushed to get oil.

7: Management of Insect pests and diseases  attacking Olive Tree and fruits

Table-3: Pesticide recommended for the management of Insect pests and diseases

Management of Insect Pests and diseases of Olive
BARK BEETLE, Olive caterpillar, Scales, Tog cutters Malathion 2ml/l

Mono-chrotophos 2-2.5 ml/l

Somithion 1.5/l

Olive fly Attacks during august

Azodrin 1ml/l      Roger 1-2 ml/l

Wooly Aphid Sucks juice from leaves and secretes white juice

Karate 1-2ml/l   Monitor 3-5 ml/l

DISEASES
Stem rot, Sooty mildew, Peacock leaf spot Bordeaux Mixture 2%

Preynox  2% spray

Bacterial knot Bordeaux mixture

 

8- COST/BENEFIT RATIO AND ECONMICS OF OLIVE CULTIVATION

 

No. of trees/Acre (18feet x 18 Feet)                                =109

Average Production of fruit/ Tree                                   =45 Kg

TOTAL Production                                 =4905Kg

No. of Jars of Pickle 250 gm Each                                 = 4905 x 4  =19620 jars

If we deduct 20% for discarded and graded fruits           =3924

Net No. of marketable Pickle Jars                                   =15696 jars

Total Income @ Rs. 30/250 gm pickle jar                        =Rs. 9,41,760/-

Approximate Expenditures /Acre                                    =Rs. 60,000 (for four years)

Net Profit/Acre/Annum                                                   =Rs. 8,81,760/Acre/Ann on forth year and so on each year

 8.1: NEED FOR OLIVE CULTIVATION IN PAKISTAN

 The total domestic consumption of edible oil is around 1.9 million tonnes, out of which 1.3 million tonnes is being imported from abroad. As many as Rs 28 billions are being spent on the import of edible oil every year.

The total production of banola oil is around 450,000 tonnes, sunflower 77,000 tonnes, canola 32,000 tonnes and other seeds is 700 tonnes per year in the country. Hence, 70% oil is being imported against local production of 30%.

In this respect, the government is paying special attention to enhance the cultivation of canola, olive and palm oil in the country to save precious foreign exchange, he added.

 

8.2: POTENTIAL OF OLIVE CULTIVATION IN PAKISTAN

 

THREE APPROACHES

A- CONVESRSION OF WILD OLIVE TO PRODUCTIVE TREES THROUGH GRAFTING (Table-4)

 

            B- CULTIVATION OF OLIVE ON CULTURABLE WASTE LANDS (Table-5)

 

            C- CULTIVATION OF OLIVE AS NEW CROP

 Table-4 POTENTIAL EARNING FROM GRAFTING OF WILD OLIVE

 

PROVINCE NO. OF TREES POTENTIAL BENEFIT/ YEAR(RS in millions))
NWFP 3.50 million 28311.5
BLUCHISTN 2.70 million 21840.3
PUNJABPOTOHAR 1.80 million 14560.2
TOTAL 8.00 million  =SUM(ABOVE) 64712.0

Table-5  POTENTIAL EARNING FROM OLIVE CULTIVATION ON CULTURABLE WASTE LANDS

 

DISTT AREA

(hectares)

NO. OF TREES PTOTENTIAL GAIN million Rs.
ABBOTABAD 75,958 75,04,650 60705.11
MANSEHRA 98,449 97,26,761 78679.76
WAZIRISTAN 90,270 89,18,676 72143.17
SWAT 1,75,850 1,73,73,980 140538.12
KILA SAIFULLA 20,970 41,43,672 33518.16
LORALI 90,650 89,56,220 72446.86
ATTOCK 36,000 35,65,800 28839.06
CHAKWAL

KALAR KAHAR

35,700 25,09,520 20299.50
RAWALPINDI 39,000 38,53,200 31168.53
TOTAL 6,62,847 6,65,52,479  =SUM(ABOVE) 538338.27

 

 

Sources and Acknowledgements:

 

  1. Agriculture Statistics Yearbook of Pakistan.2003-04
  2. Ahmad M. and Iftikhar A. 1994. Zaitoon ki kasht (Urdu Buleting). National Agri. Res. Centre, Islamabad.
  3. Anne Dolamore. ‘The essential Olive oil companion
  4. Culinarycafe. About Olive: http://www.culinarycafe.com/Vegetables/About_Olives.html
  5. Harun Yahya. ‘The design in Nature’
  6. Jalaluddin as-Suyuti . ‘Medicine of the Prophet’
  7. Mutmainaa . 2003. The Benefits from Olives. By the Fig and the Olive.2003.
  8. Provincial Agricultural Departments
  9. Syed Abu-Ala’ Maududi. ‘The meaning of the Qur’an’
  10. Syed Qutb. ‘In the Shade of the Qur’an’
  11. Thomas B. Irving, Khurshid Ahmad, Muhammad M. Ahsan.’The Qur’an – Basic Teachings
  12. Various websites, food & nutrition magazines

Yousuf Ali. ‘The Holy Qur’an’ – Translation

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