BEIJING, March 16 (APP):Pakistan has immense potential of olive plantation due to availability of land and favourable environment in the country. If olives are planted on Pakistan’s arable land, the country could become one of the world’s leading olive oil producers and exporters.
Experts believe that Pakistan can adopt the latest Chinese technology for the cultivation of olive plants.
China could be one of the potential markets for Pakistani olive production in the future, which could also help reduce the trade deficit between the two countries, according to experts. Currently, Olive brands from Spain and Italy are highly recognized in the Chinese markets, according to a report published by CEN on Tuesday.
The government of Pakistan is increasing olive cultivation in the country. Olive plantation under ‘10 Billion Tsunami Tree’ initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is one of such projects aiming to increase olive products, reduce the impacts of climate change and to support poverty alleviation.
While addressing the launching ceremony of olive plantation campaign in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan has also stressed that Olive Plantation would help address the country’s food security, climate change, unemployment and will save our foreign exchange.
“Olive Tree Tsunami will not only ward off the increased conversion of land into deserts but a national resource of healthy edible oil will emerge as well,” a senior provincial official said.
Under the program, four million olive plants would be grafted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to produce olive products. An area of 27 hectares had been selected for the plantation of olives in Amangarh, Nowshera.
The agriculture experts said that olive cultivation in Pakistan has become a success. Olives have been cultivated for the last three decades in the country; However, the proper screening of olive varieties in recent times has improved the cultivation of the plants.
Pakistan has 12.72 million hectares of land, which is cultivable for olive plantation. Out of this area, four million hectares is the most suitable land with proper irrigation systems.
Currently, olives are cultivated at 35,000 hectares of land. Pakistan extracted 11,000 tons of extra virgin olives during the last season.
Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, Potohar region in Punjab and Khuzdar in Balochistan contain the most suitable land for olive cultivation.
The experts have called upon Pakistan and China to deepen and expand cooperation in the agriculture sector under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).