Italian govt to help promote olive cultivation

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Italian govt to help promote olive cultivation

Rawalpindi - Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) and the Italian government would work together for promotion of olive farming in Pakistan, with an aim to first produce enough olive oil for domestic consumption and then for export to the other markets.

This was decided in a meeting between PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and Dr Marco Marchetti, Resident Coordinator, AFNEPAK Project, here on Tuesday.

In the meeting, it was also decided that Italian government would provide technical and financial support while PMAS-AAUR in collaboration with other institutes BARI, ABAD, etc spread olive oil plantations across thousands of acres in Pakistan regions of Punjab particularly in Pothwar area. Italian scientists would also provide training to university faculty and they would further train students and local growers to ensure quality farming of olive trees.

PMAS-AAUR would also conduct awareness and training programs to facilitate the people by creating awareness on olive cultivation techniques and producing value-added products. The marginal lands could be utilized for olive cultivation without replacing the other crops and it would help in reducing the import bill of the country, he added.

VC PMAS-AAUR, while sharing his views, emphasized the significance of olive cultivation for the agricultural economy of Pakistan. He further said that new initiative to promote olive cultivation in Pakistan would help generate better income for farmers in the country. Olive was a high-value agricultural product, which can also bring in the much-needed foreign exchange, if exported to other markets, he added.

The Italian government and PMAS-AAUR would soon enter into a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in the identified areas of cooperation regarding the olive oil production in the area.

Courtesy: Nation

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