Public Private Partnership Bearing Fruits In Arid Lands

Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak has bearing Fruits and planted thousands of olive plants in district Karak.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) in collaboration with Agricultural Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak has bearing Fruits and planted thousands of olive plants in district Karak. The district with millions of wild olive trees was unable to observe success in Top work and plantation of edible olive cultivation, said a press release issued here

However the continuous and consistent joint efforts of various public sector departments resulted in breakthroughs.

The SMEDA collaborated with PODB about 07 years back and then Khushal Khan Khattak University joined to make an aggressive trio. By the time the Olive project was launched by the Agriculture Department, KP, awareness about olive plantation had gained the attention of almost the entire district Karak.

About 27,000 individuals and some large farms as well as from the district have shown interest in the project. Dr. Israr Khattak and Professor Iqbal Khattak planted 4,200 olives respectively. The survival rate is encouraging enough standing at 80%. These plants have started fruiting and the mentioned farmers have utilized their first produce for pickles.

This has proved to be good news for the local people, as there are hundreds of plants which though have been producing but due to limited number of plants and hence yield, were insufficient to provide a viable base for processing.

With these medium scale orchards, the communities will be able to pool their produce and bring it to processing facilities of the government.

Keeping in view the facts and figures about olive, it can be estimated that within the next two years these two orchards alone will be extracting edible oil of Rs.10.5 million and Rs. 8 million against sale of olive leaves every year.

Along-with this, additional hundreds of tons from smaller plantations as well as wild olives will find a way for processing. Such interventions are the need of the day and among few options for arid lands otherwise going waste and verge of total deforestation.

According to Hafizullah Khan (Manager, SMEDA) the authority in collaboration with Dr. Azmat Awan (PODB) and Dr. Zubair Khattak (Director ORIC, KKUK) have submitted proposals to KP government and some donors for olive value chain up-gradation.

Local farmers when contacted informed that arid lands like those of Karak show best results for olive top work and plantation in the months of July due to immediate sufficient rains.

They also expressed that support in the shape of matching grants for orchard fencing will be very helpful to utilize most of the cultivable wastelands of southern KP.

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