Islamabad : As part of the efforts to boost olive oil production 3.6 million olive trees have so far been planted on 30,000 acres of land in 22 districts including Rawalpindi Division.
According to the details, a number of government departments have made effective contributions towards plantation of olive trees including Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Oil Seed Development Board, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Agriculture Research Institute Peshawar, Balochistan Agricultural Development and Research Centre and Agriculture and Research Institute Quetta.
The government departments and private investors have so far set up fifteen Olive Oil Extraction Units in Pakistan. Currently, the machinery is also being imported from other countries to establish more such units in all those districts where olive plants are being planted in the public and private sector.
The government has also planned to establish three laboratories in the Rawalpindi Division to promote olive tree plantation including Olive Oil Quality laboratory, Product Development laboratory and Disease Control laboratory.
The training programmes will also be arranged for the farmers to educate them about labelling, branding and marketing of their olive products.
The olive plants have a tendency to control emission of carbon dioxide in the air so they would also help improve the air quality in the country.
The information shared by the office of the National Project Director stated that this initiative is being funded under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and its purpose is to bring degraded, marginal and less productive lands under olive cultivation on 50,000 acres of land.
“We will also establish its value chain by providing subsidies on the olive products. The incentives will also be given to the private sector to enhance nursery production and develop their value-added products,” the information said.