22 Nov

Rs 14 million olive plantation project launched in Khyber

An olive plantation project costing Rs 14.585 million is starting at Akakhel Maira in Bara Tehsil, Khyber Agency, under the Sustainable Plans Development Programme (SPDP).

The project envisages establishment of community farms on 2000 acres of land under an agreement with local tribesmen. The project, when completed, would be handed over to the owners of the land, said a press release issued by Media Cell of FATA Secretariat on Friday.

Project Director Rahmat Jan said olive gardens project is likely to be completed in three years in close collaboration with tribal elders of Bara Tehsil.

He said olive was a valuable source of foreign exchange earning and the project would help improve socio-economic life of tribesmen. He added that at present funds were being spent on the import of olive oil and this project was a step forward to attain autarky in olive oil besides generating employment opportunities in the area.

He explained that community physical infrastructure ie tube wells, farms, roads, community dams and appropriate irrigation system was being laid out in the area to make the project a success.

The project director said community farm Bazaar Zakha Khel costing Rs 14.780 million was another project under which pistachio, pomegranate and almond orchards had been sown on 1050 acres wasteland of Bazaar Zaka Khel area of Khyber agency.

The survival rate of fruit plants is more than 90 percent and 15 community farms have been established on 21050 acres wasteland in Kurram, Mohmand and Khyber Agencies under the SPDP.

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