ISLAMABAD: The Italian government would provide 20 million Euros in order to promote olive cultivation and production of olive oil in Pakistan, which would help in reducing the reliance on the imported commodity to fulfill the domestic requirements.
In this regard federal government in collaboration with provincial governments would start technical training and vocation education programme on olive farming to encourage the olive culture across the potential areas of the country, said Head of Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Dr Ahmad Tariq.
Talking to APP here on Monday, he said that BARI would provide technical support and policy guideline to provinces for exploiting their olive production potential by bringing the barren and semi-marginal land under production to enhance farm income of rural farming communities.
Besides, the fund would be spent on farmers training particularly training of young olive farmers to encourage the young and educated youth for the development of olive culture to earn a reasonable livelihood by bringing the marginal land under crop production, he added.
Recently, USAID in collaboration with BARI had also provided 50 percent matching grant to private sector olive farmers for the establishment of basic infrastructure including the installation of mini crushing mills and other facilities for olive extraction and value addition, he added.
Dr Tariq further informed that an high efficient olive extraction plant imported from the Italy had also been installed at BARI to facilitate the olive growers to extract their produces.
The plant has a capacity to extract about 500 kg olive per hour and produce extra virgin olive oil for consumption, he added.
Besides, about 8 tons of the olive have arrived in BARI so for extraction, as about 24-25 tons of olive would be expected to extract during current season, he added.
Meanwhile, he said that olive plant had been cultivated over 5,800 acres of land in Punjab, where as about 200,000 to 300,000 plants cultivated every year in order to develop self reliance in the production of edible oil and as well as saving billion of dollar being spent on the import of the commodity.
He said that it was set to bring about 15 hectares land under olive cultivation by planting around 2 million plants , adding that if the proper attention is paid to the cultivation of olive, within next ten years country would be able to produce sufficient quantity to fulfill the domestic requirements.
Source Business Recorder