Ahsan Iqbal reviews progress on Olive cultivation project

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ISLAMABAD, April 26 (APP): Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the project of Olive cultivation.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Food Security and National
Agricultural Research Centre also attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed the project for the promotion of Olive Cultivation on commercial scale in Pakistan.
The project would cost Rs 2,444.545 millions aiming commercial
level cultivation of olive on 50,000 acres in the country.
The minister was briefed that a total of 240,000 olive plants were
purchased while 11,565 plants were distributed among component units. The plantation on 115 acres has been completed. The propagation of 525,000 olive cuttings and air layering have also been practiced.
Ahsan Iqbal urged quarters concerned through this project, Pakistan
would develop infrastructure for mass-scale production of olive nursery plants and provision of olive extraction units.
He said the government through this project wanted to develop and train human resource for value addition in agricultural sector. Olive cultivation in Baluchistan was producing extra ordinary results.
The minister said Italian and Spanish ambassadors had assured to
provide full technical assistance on boosting olive cultivation in Pakistan.
“Olive cultivation requires a complete eco-system from its nourishing to
oil extraction. We need modern tools and techniques in our agriculture sector.”
He said, “Our agriculture scientists need to brig innovation
and work under a well thought out vision and roadmap for growing better crops.”
The officials of Ministry of Food and Agriculture assured that positive
steps had been implemented and the coming months would show remarkable production of crops.
The minister said the biggest challenge for a country like
Pakistan was to bring stability in prices to sustain in the competitiveness.
“Similarly, we need to assess our actual demands for domestic and export needs”, he added.
“Pakistan is a country with the market as well as we have potential to
meet needs on domestic and external consumers of the agricultural products. With the rich and potent agricultural sector, we should have enough food security.”
Ahsan Iqbal also suggested to make an inter province agriculture
committee through which the inter provincial agricultural issues could be
addressed collectively.