ISLAMABAD: A two-day National Olive Festival in the heart of the Olive Valley, Chakwal, opened on Saturday to highlight the part and importance of olive fruits, oil, and other by-products. In addition to academics and international experts, it also brings together olive oil farmers from parts of Balochistan, Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Com. Rawalpindi, Muhammad Mahmood, pointed to the need to involve the private sector directly from growth to production, by-products to the supply chain, while the role of government should be limited to training and policy making to maximize success in this sector.
He recalled his role as the Punjab Secretary of Agriculture and said he was instrumental in promoting this edible oil-producing fruit. Chaudhry Abid Mahmood, Executive Director of the PARB, said on this occasion that Pakistan will achieve purity in olive oil production by 2024.
We import about 4,000 tons of olive-oil annually to meet national needs, he said.
National-Director Olivia, Dr. M Tariq greeted the participants and gave an overview of the summary of the olive plant and its cultivation in oil production. The country achieved the goal in nearly a decade thanks to hard work and dedication, he said.
The Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) Chakwal, Competence Center for Olive Research and Education, is organizing a two-day National Olive Festival to endorse olive farming and value creation in the country.
The event is organized in collaboration with the Pakistani Oilseed Development Council. At the festival, farmers and entrepreneurs demonstrated extra virgin olive oil and other valuable products.
“BARI has magnificently developed an olive production and value-chain development model in Pothwar that can be applied to other provinces and region of the country to renovate various plots of land into high quality agricultural areas,” explained M Rafique Dogar, director of the BARANI Institute.
Farmers from all over the country took part in the competition, in which experts from Italy and Spain took part as judges of the competition.
Roberto Neccia, Head of the Italian-Mission in Pakistan, and Emanuela Benini, Director of Italian-International Co-operation in Pakistan, attended the event as special guests.