31 Aug

[Pakistan] Plea for large-scale olive cultivation: Potential seen for $3.5bn export

A study conducted by the NWFP agriculture research centre says that the province can earn $3.5 billion annually from export of olive oil by bringing under olive cultivation the high rainfall areas of the province.

“Two million acres of cultivable wastelands and uncultivated forest area can be brought under olive cultivation in the high rainfall zone of the NWFP and if olive produced from there is exported at a minimum value of $2,000 per ton, exports can earn nearly $3.5 billion annually,” said a study of the NWFP underlying a strategic framework for the province to achieve economic growth through private investment.

According to the NWFP government’s record, the province already has over 30 million wild olive trees which could be converted into ones compatible with varieties of high oil contents.

Pointing out that the existing stock of olive trees in the NWFP are wild in nature and happen to be small in size and carry low oil contents, the study recommends that the existing stock of olive trees could be converted into high yielding European varieties through top working to increase fruit yield and oil content.

“The existing trees provide a ready base for producing huge quantities of olive oil in a short period by converting them into high quality plants through top working,” researchers said.

The province, according to the study, is house to large tracks of land falling under high rainfall zones suitable for olive plantation.

The government has been proposed to exploit the situation to its benefit as olive oil production not only offers tremendous opportunities as far as earning foreign exchange was concerned, all the more, the provincial economy could experience a major boost in view of the increasing edible oil consumption patterns in the country.

Pakistan heavily relies on edible oil imports to meet its consumption requirements every year, therefore, according to the study, bringing more area under olive oil cultivation together with converting the existing stock of trees into high quality European varieties could help open a new avenue to attain economic growth by effectively exploiting the NWFP’s agriculture sector potential.

However, in an effort to take benefit of its geographical location, the government has been cautioned to take appropriate measures to address a host of issues — identified by the study — needed to be taken care with before venturing into olive cultivation.

The study has been carried out to pinpoint hurdles hampering growth in different sub-sectors relating to industries and agriculture sectors and suggest ways and means to remove those impediments to achieve economic growth in addition to identifying avenues with untapped potential.

Other than olive cultivation, the study envisages that the provincial government should also focus on tea plantation as it could be helpful in achieving good results from the agriculture sector which employs about 47 per cent of the NWFP total labour force.

The study suggests that taking greater advantage of its agriculture sector’s potential by bringing the untapped potential of tea and olive oil production under utility the province could make progress in its main objective of addressing the issue of increasing poverty through job creation and increasing income generation opportunities.

It has been suggested that the provincial government should take advantage of the National Tea Research Institute at Shinkiari, in the Hazara region of the NWFP, and persuade local farmers to switch over to tea plantation for which they should be assisted in terms of finances they would require initially.
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One Response to “[Pakistan] Plea for large-scale olive cultivation: Potential seen for $3.5bn export”

  1. mohsin sheraz Says:

    dear sir
    with due respect i want to grow olive plants in my land in nowshera i have 2 acres of land with tubewell n rainy benefits as well,may i get any govt assistance in this respect.plz let me know kindly as i wish to start growing from coming january.
    mohsin sheraz

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