Education: Arid varsity, Italy work together for promotion of Olive Oil farming

May 21, 2013 Off By Web Desk

Islamabad: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi PMASAAUR and the Italian government will 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 PMASAAUR Vice Chancellor, 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 will provide technical and financial support while PMASAAUR 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 will also provide training to University faculty and they will further train students and local growers to ensure quality farming of olive trees.

PMASAAUR will also conduct awareness and training programmes to facilitate the people by creating awareness on Olive cultivation techniques and producing value-added products. 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, he added.

Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, PMASAAUR, 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 will help generate better income for farmers in the country. Olive is 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 PMASAAUR will soon enter into a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in the identified areas of cooperation regarding the Olive oil production in the area.