Over 8 million hectares of wasteland to be turned to grow olive

wasteland olive

Over eight million hectares of Pakistan’s wasteland can be utilized to cultivate olive which can be exported to make the foreign exchange and facilitate the country to be developed into autonomous in edible oil production, as per the experts at a training programme held on Wednesday.

The experts said at the programme on “Olive orchard establishment, nursery raising and value addition” held at Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) at Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC) that with the federal government’s Public Sector Development Program entitled “Promotion and cultivation of olive on a commercial scale in Pakistan–Phase-II” the government would aid farmers in promotion of olive.

They further said the farmers would have to plant, grow, water, and care for the plant and as a result, 77 percent of expenses would be tolerated by the government and the remaining of 33 percent by the farmer.

Read more: Rs 6 billion olive cultivation project launched

Meanwhile, the project in charge of the PSDP olive project’s Sindh component, Mohammad Waseem Kalroo, illuminated the direction of the project and the scenario of its impact and scope in Sindh.

He made a comparison of the potential of marginal lands of the province with the Rajasthan region of India, where olive had been embraced fruitfully.

He further said that they would supply technical support to farmers for the development of olive.

Moreover, the departments of government that aimed to cultivate the plant on state land would be given the plant free of charge. The project had functioned in Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Kashmir since 2010 and at present Sindh had been incorporated in its second phase since Oct 27, he said.

Additionally, senior research officer at Pakistan Oilseed Development Board Islamabad, Dr. Azmat Ali Awan, told the meeting about proliferation methods, cultural practices, and worth addition of olive.

He highlighted statistics of world olive consumption and its scope in Pakistan and said the country had more than eight million hectares area of wasteland which could be used for olive cultivation.

The progressive farmers of Umerkot and Mirpurkhas districts Army personnel from Hyderabad and Chhor cantonments, representatives of different local and international NGOs working on food security, officials of plant protection, and agriculture department of Sindh and academia from Sindh Agriculture University, Umerkot campus attended the training programme.

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