The fourth annual National Olive Festival was held on Saturday at Centre of Excellence for Olive Research and Training, Barani Agricultural Research Institute Chakwal.
According to a press release issued here, National Olive Project Director Dr Muhammad Tariq was chief guest at inaugural session and Italian Olive Culture Director Dr Kastatiuno Parma participated as guest of honour .
Dr Muhammad Tariq said, “Pakistan is spending about Rs 350 billion on the import of edible oil.”
The trend of olive cultivation would help meet the requirement of edible oil in future, he added.
He appreciated the efforts of the Centre of Excellence for Olive Research and Training in Barani Agricultural Research Institute Chakwal to make the cultivation of olive possible through research.
He said, “ this festival provides a platform to olive growers, processors, service providers, entrepreneur, associations, scientists, professionals, academia policy makers to interact and share their value able experiences for sustainable olive sector.”
He said that olive farmers were able to get latest trends of olive production, adding that cultivation of olives was not only increasing employment opportunities but also playing an important role in preventing land erosion.
He further said that all the stakeholders had to work together to increase the production of olives.
Dr Kastatiuno Parma also appreciated the efforts of the Centre of Excellence for olive Research and training Chakwal for increasing olive cultivation in Pakistan.
Centre of Excellence for Olive Research and Training Director Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, while giving briefing on the occasion, said that with the efforts of the Centre for Excellence for Olive Research and Training Barani Agricultural Research Institute, Chakwal more than 2 million olive saplings had been planted in Pothwar region.—APP