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Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal chaired a meeting on Olive Cultivation. Senior officials from the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and NARC (National Agricultural Research Centre attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed the project for the promotion of Olive Cultivation on commercial scale in Pakistan. The project would cost PKR2444.545 millions. The project aims at commercial level cultivation of olive on 50,000 acres in the country. The minister was briefed that a total of 240,000 olive plants were purchased while 11,565 plants were distributed among component units. The minister was informed that plantation on 115 acres has been completed. He was further informed that propagation of 5,25,000 olive cuttings and air layering have also been practiced. Ahsan Iqbal while chairing the meeting urged on the officials from the concerned ministries that through this project, Pakistan would develop infrastructure for mass-scale production of olive nursery plants and provision of olive extraction units. He further maintained that the government through this project wants to develop and train human resource for value addition in agricultural sector.
Olive cultivation in Baluchistan is producing extra ordinary results. Minister stated that Italian and Spanish Ambassadors have assured to provide full technical assistance on boosting olive cultivation in Pakistan.
Olive cultivation requires a complete eco-system from its nourishing to oil extraction. We need modern tools and techniques in our agriculture sector.
He maintained that our agriculture scientists need to brig innovation and work under a well thought out vision and roadmap for growing better crops.
The officials of Ministry of food and agriculture assured the Minister that positive steps have been implemented and the coming months would show remarkable production of crops.
The minister maintained that the biggest challenge for a country like Pakistan is to bring stability in prices to sustain in the competitiveness. Similarly, we need to assess our actual demands for domestic and export needs. Pakistan is a country with the market as well as we have potential to meet needs on domestic and external consumers of the agricultural products. With the rich and potent agricultural sector, we should have enough food security.
Minister Ahsan Iqbal also suggested to make an inter province agriculture committee through which we could collectively address the inter provincial agricultural issues.