China’s demand for Pakistani olive oil is high and as long as Pakistan has market demand or export demand, cooperation with China is absolutely imperative, said Zhou Ning, Marketing Director at Green Organic Food.
In addition to market, Pakistani farmers need Chinese agricultural technology and investment. Syed Yousaf Ali, a farmer with a 100-acre estate said that he is now using a Chinese machine that picks olives of different sizes. “Compared with other agricultural machines around the world, Chinese machines are inexpensive.”
Farhan Pasha, the scientific officer in charge of the olive program at the Barani Agricultural Research Institute, on the other hand, talking to China Economic Net (CEN) hoped to cooperate with China in terms of cold-pressing technology, pest control and other agricultural technologies.
Against the backdrop of successful cultivation of cash crops such as chili peppers, a joint venture between China and Pakistan for olive cultivation and processing is also a viable solution. Dr. Ramzan Ansari believes that it would be a win-win result for both countries if they receive assistance from China and start production here.
On a macro level, the cooperation between the two countries in the olive industry holds even greater potential. Dr. Ramzan Ansari suggested that some areas with high agricultural potential, including the Potohar region, could become exclusive agricultural zones under the China Pakistan Economic Corridoor (CPEC).
Pakistan’s nascent olive oil industry, although a late starter, has played a visible role in Pakistan’s food security and even economic recovery, as Inam ul Haq said, “If we can stop importing olive oil and make ourselves self-sufficient, then it will be an olive revolution for us. “
Pakistan’s annual vegetable oil consumption amounts to 5 million tons, while the share of some less-consumed vegetable oils such as mustard oil is about 400,000 tons. Thirty percent of the demand is satisfied by domestically produced oilseeds, while the remaining seventy percent is met by imports. Due to the increase in import prices, it is a severe test for Pakistan’s foreign trade deficit and foreign exchange reserves.—APP