The National Olive Festival will be held on November 11 to promote olive cultivation and to boost olive oil production in Pakistan.
Project Director, National Project for Olive Promotion, Dr. Muhammad Tariq told APP that Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam would be the chief guest at the program.
The Center of Excellence for Olive Research and Training, BARI, Chakwal and the Promotion of Olive Cultivation on Commercial Scale in Pakistan (Phase II) would organize the national olive festival at National Agriculture Research Center Park Road, Islamabad which would help develop the sector and promote olive cultivation in the country.
He informed that the National Olive Festival would be attended by farmers, processors, service providers, subsidiaries and they would be provided an opportunity to explore olive sector development in Pakistan.
Regarding the development of olives in Pakistan, he said that all-out efforts were being made to make Pakistan self-sufficient in olive oil production and soon Pakistan would become member of International Olive Council.
He said that earnest efforts were being made to make Pakistan self-sufficient in olive oil production. He expressed the hope that in the upcoming meeting, Pakistan would fulfill the required criteria to become a member of IOC.
Dr. Tariq said once Pakistan becomes a member state, it would be able to avail facilities provided by the IOC including installing oil extraction units in the country.
The quality of Pakistan’s oil was one of the best in the world, he added.
After getting the membership, Pakistan would get a certification of oil that would help winning trust of the world market, he said adding, after approval for the membership, the council would provide support to Pakistan at all levels.
The Council would play a role in introducing Pakistan’s olive oil and its products internationally and would help in exporting olive oil, he added.
He informed that Abdul Latif Ghadira, Executive Director, International Olive Council (IOC) recently visited Pakistan on request of the Pakistan Oil Seeds Development board (POSDB).
Abdul Latif Ghadira lauding the steps taken for the cultivation during his visit said that the Centre of Excellence for Olive Research and Training Chakwal would be linked with the International Olive Council to assist in modern technology, Dr. Tariq informed.
There is a huge potential to increase the production of olives in Pakistan. The Government was running several projects for the development of olives, due to which in the future Pakistan would not only be self-sufficient in olive production but would also be able to export olives, Dr. Tariq added.
Muhammad Rafiq Dogar, Director, Barani Agriculture Research Institute Chakwal told APP that the government was striving to promote olive cultivation at large scale to meet the country’s edible oil needs.