Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) launched efforts to take possession of its olive oil extraction unit located at Tarnab, Peshawar back with an aim to make it functional for facilitating the growers to extract oil from their produce leading to their economic uplift and promotion of olive cultivation in the country.
Sources in the PODB told Business Recorder here on Saturday that the Board had written to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research that the facility of oil extraction from olives was available to the growers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Potohar areas through Board’s installed units prior to PODB winding up last year.
The facility of PODB facilitated the farmers to get quality olive oil from their own produce, leading to make a viable infrastructure in olive husbandry right from production to marketing chain and enhancing value addition to consumers’ chains in the suitable parts of the country.
The Board, however, was approached by the Shajar Pak Olive Farmers Co-operative upon its revival to assist the olive growers by providing machines to extract olive oil. The letter moved by the revived PODB Managing Director Syed Nasir Ali Shah in this regard to the Ministry of National Food Security said that olive produce of the growers was totally wasted last year and it again happened this year due to the fact that no infrastructure has been in place after the winding up of PODB. “This will result in total failure of olive crop production if the situation remains the same in the days to come. The olive farmers will face considerable loss, a reversal process will begin and the huge sums of money invested in the sector will drain down, to total waste,” the letter added.
Taking into account the above considerations, the Board requested the Ministry for granting approval from the competent authority, allowing PODB to take the possession of its Olive Oil extraction Unit located at Tarnab, Peshawar, making it functional for facilitating the growers to extract their own oil.
“In this regard the Chief Secretary KPK may be asked by the Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, to hand back the assets of PODB including building and machinery etc,” the letter added. In another letter the PODB also suggested to the Ministry that the issue of the expenses for running of the extraction unit until required funds are not released may be covered by the volunteered support and assistance of Olive Farmers Co-operative Association.
The second letter also mentioned that PODB has its own experts to run the unit who have been posted to different departments on its disbandment. So, the PODB Managing Director requested that these experts may be posted back to PODB to make the unit functional and operational.