Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Agriculture Department Distributed 9,300 Olive Saplings Free Of Cost Among Farmers Of Bajaur Tribal…
districts to increase olive production.
According to details, the provincial agriculture department, in collaboration with the central government’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), plans to plant olive trees on 15,000 acres in tribal districts. Of the total, Olive Saplings will be cultivated on 70 acres in Bajaur this year.
It is expected that providing high quality Olive Saplings groves will double production here in the coming years which will play an active role in improving the country’s economy.
Project Director Ahmed Saeed told Profit that olive cultivation is currently being carried out in most districts of KP under the PSDP project, including Bajaur, Dir, Nowshera, Swat Mardan, Abbottabad, Mardan and other tribal districts.
Saeed, who is an olive expert, said that the farmers are informed from time to time about the type of weather and soil the Olive Saplings plants require.
“Unlike olive oil produced in other parts of the country which have 10pc oil producing potential, Bajaur olives have a 20pc oil producing potential,” he said.
He explained that four types of oils are obtained from olives, priced between Rs1,800 to Rs3,000 per liter in the market, while one tree can produce 20 to 200 liters.
“Not only is oil extracted from olives but its leaves are also used for many ailments. So, olive groves can change the destiny of the people of Bajaur in a few years,” the director claimed.
According to sources in the Agriculture Department, the department has started a drip irrigation project across the province which will make millions more acres of land cultivable in KP.
The officials said that the department has provided oil extraction machines to the olive producing districts of Bajaur, Dir, Mardan, Nowshera, and Abbottabad, which will facilitate landlords to produce oil from olives in their areas.District Agriculture Officer (Extension) Bajaur Zia La Islam Dawar said that the KP Agriculture Department distributes high quality olive plants free of cost to the landlords of Bajaur every year but there had been delays in the distribution this year due to coronavirus otherwise the plants were to be distributed in March.
He said that the plants are brought from abroad, especially Turkey and Spain but since all types of arrivals and departures were cut off, therefore, the oil plants could not be brought on time.
Zia-ul-Islam said that the economy of the people of Bajaur is dependent on olives now. The Bajaur Department of Agriculture has modern machinery to extract olive oil.
“The oil extraction machine is a wonderful gift from the provincial government to the people of Bajaur. The landowners from other areas including Dir, Swat and Mohmand districts also bring olive fruit here to extract oil,” Islam said.
Experts believe that climate change has also negatively impacted Pakistan in the form of untimely rains, floods and droughts which is why the environment of Bajaur and other tribal districts of the province are more suitable for olive groves.
This news was originally published at profit.pakistantoday.com.pk