28 Aug

Strategy formulated for regulating olive products sector

Regional experts, public officials and owners of olive oil presses convened this week to draw up a strategy for regulating the olive products sector and addressing environmental problems resulting from olive by-products.

During the third meeting of the regional committee of the integrated waste management of the Olive Oil Pressing Industries Programme, participants discussed means to identify best practices for upgrading the olive sector and proper disposal of solid and liquid residues of olive presses.

The programme was launched in 2005 to introduce elements of an integrated waste management system to the olive oil sector in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

In his opening remarks at the meeting on Monday, Minister of Environment Khalid Irani said the government is concerned with supporting the olive sector by promoting the use of clean production mechanisms and advanced technological production techniques.

“Boosting the marketing opportunities of olive oil products cannot be achieved unless their quality is improved. The ministries of agriculture and environment encourage farmers to use environment-friendly production techniques in farming, irrigation and disposal of by-products,” Irani noted.

He added the ministries also encourage owners of olive presses to use ways to ration the consumption of water and use clean production mechanisms to produce crops in accordance with international standards, thus gaining access to new markets.

As part of the ministry’s measures to address environmental problems resulting from by-products of olive presses, in June it announced plans to establish a pilot plant by the end of this year for treating the liquid residue of the olive-pressing process, which pollutes the soil and water resources.

The JD500,000 EU-funded plant, to be built either at the Ikeider holding area or the Jordan University of Science and Technology, will start operating within four to six months with a daily capacity of 5-10 cubic metres of liquid residues.

The plant will help curb environmental problems caused by olive vegetable water (OVW), which contains large quantities of organic matter, solid material and oil that are hard to treat.

The country’s 105 olive mills produce 200,000 cubic metres of OVW annually, which poses an environmental challenge. According to the Ministry of Agriculture figures, 1.250 million dunums of land in the country are planted with olives, and the sector produces some 253,000 tonnes of olives annually.

[Source] Click here

Leave a Reply