ISLAMABAD: (27th October, 2017) ……The Govt. of Pakistan is focusing a lot on the promotion and cultivation of olive as it is foremost priority for future planning. Excellent work is being carried out under the olive project for the benefit of farmers. Through promotion and olive cultivation in Pakistan, import of Olive Oil can be minimized and foreign exchange can be saved. For this purpose, there is only way to move forward scientifically and utilize the marginal lands only for olive cultivation so that prime land may be utilized for other cash crops. This was stated by Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Chakwal during an exposure visit of Electronic and Print Media Group to witness Olive Plantation Field Areas at District Chakwal. This exposure visit of Media Group was arranged by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad aiming to acquaint the media about olive agri-research and development activities being carried at Chakwal and to disseminate further these R&D activities / new innovations / technologies and information among stakeholders through media. PARC Media Team under the supervision of Mr. Maqbool Shahbaz, Director (Public Relations & Protocol) PARC was also accompanied with the Electronic & Print Media Group.
This project was handed over to Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in 2012. Total Plants imported 06 Lacs from Italy and other European countries. Plants were distributed free of cost in Punjab 2, 80,000/-, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1,50,000/-, Balochistan 1,40,000/-, Azad Jammu Kashmir 5000/-, Mansehra 10,000/-, and 1650 farmers in Potohar Region from 2012 to 2016.
Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director (BARI) Chakwal welcomed the media professionals and senior officers of PARC and highlighted research activities and achievements of BARI, Chakwal in Olive Plantation and said olive is a future cash crop of Potohar area. On this occasion, he also informed the media that research results should reach at farmer’s field so that farmers can benefit from our research, new knowledge and innovations. He appreciated the efforts of PARC and BARI olive scientists for promotion and cultivation of this important crop in the Potohar Region. He told to the Media Group that target of Olive Plantation is two million from 2013 to 2017 whereas about one million olive plants have been planted upto now in Potohar region. In future, 450 million foreign exchanged will be saved. An Olive Oil processing plant (State of Art) has also been installed at BARI, Chakwal for Olive Seed processing and Farmers of Potohar region are also utilizing this facility for their Olive Seed Processing free of cost. The Capacity of this Olive Oil Processing Plant is 500 kg per hour. Media Group also witnessed the said plant and took keen interest in its seed processing.
Briefing to Media, Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director (BARI) Chakwal further said that the Potohar region is ideal for olive production, farmers of this region are required to be educated on olive cultivation and to introduce to olive production technologies, harvesting practices and irrigation schedules. Dr. Tariq further added that the government has declared the Potohar region an ‘olive valley’ and the area possesses the ideal climatic conditions and land for the commercial cultivation of olives. Adding further, he said that that the role of plantation olive can play in bringing down the edible oil import bill, olive fruit has also come in markets of Pakistan which will further increase in coming years and Olive Cake, Pickles, Jam, Murabba are value added products of Olive. He also expressed that agri. Scientists are required to ensure maintaining the quality of products including quality testing facilities.
On the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director (BARI) Chakwal and Mr. Maqbool Shahbaz, Director (PR&P), PARC both urged the media professionals to give high priority to agriculture development in their reportage as research shows that no sector of the economy of any country is able to alleviate the poverty of the people than agriculture. He also added that media has a potentially broader role in raising the profile of agriculture amongst decision-makers as well as the wider public, and in communicating farmers.
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (SI&P), NARC