Punjab government has chalked out a well-knitted plan for the promotion of olive crop in the province. Official sources told Business Recorder on Thursday that under the plan, special attention will be accorded on scientific cultivation of olive crop for attaining yielding results.
In Punjab, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Attock, Chakwal and Khushab districts were the potential areas for Olive cultivation. Olive orchard cultivation throughout these potential areas of Punjab could produce much quantity of oil, which may certainly bring Pakistan’s olive oil import share to zero.
According to the Agri experts the prevailing environment, minimum/maximum temperature, soil types, average rainfall and other related growth factors in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Attock, Chakwal and Khushab areas are exactly according to olive cultivation requirements.
The marginal lands could be utilised for olive cultivation without replacing the other crops and it will help in reducing the import bill of the country, sources added. Meanwhile, the agriculture department Punjab was conducting awareness and training programmes to facilitate the people by creating awareness on olive cultivation techniques and producing value added products. It may be added that overall demand of Olive oil was over 1.9 million ton of which 1.3 million tons was being imported from various countries for catering domestic needs and requirements costing billion of rupees every year, sources added.