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Precious foreign exchange could be saved if olive cultivation is stepped up

ISLAMABAD: (Parliament Times) Inaugural session of International Conference on Olive Orchard Management and Value Chain Development was held at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Federal Minister for M/o National Food Security & Research, Islamabad was the Chief Guest of the Occasion. Dr. Yusuf Zafar, T.I, Chairman, PARC, Prof. Dr. Nadeem Akhter Abbasi, Vice Chancellor, PMAS, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Stefano
Pontecoryo, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, experts from Greec, Spain, FAO Rep. in Pakistan and other prominent scientists were also participants of the event. While addressing to the inaugural Ceremony, the Chief Guest, Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, Federal Minister for M/o National Food Security & Research, Islamabad said that Olive is of great interest to the farmers of Pakistan. Precious foreign exchange could be saved if olive cultivation is stepped up in Pakistan and the country begins processing its own olive oil to help reduce oil imports. So there is
considerable potential of olive cultivation and its promotion in Pakistan. In such scenario organization of such conference is highly appreciable for the promotion of olive cultivation through provision of
scientific knowledge and technological advancements to farmers. Considering the huge potential in economic development, the pace of olive plantation and resources to carry out the plantation on mega
level needs to be enhanced considerably. The recent and advanced knowledge on olive cultivation brought in by our foreign speakers if replicated in Pakistan may bring about large changes in the livelihood of our farmers. The government of Pakistan is trying best to solve the problems of farmers’ community in Pakistan which they face starting from production to marketing of their commodities.
Very recently, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has declared his keen interest to grow trees and his team is working on various relief packages for the farmers of Pakistan. I am sure this will help to
uplift agriculture in Pakistan and will reduce the production cost burdens of the farmers. The Federal Minister also appreciated that Pakistan Agriculture Research Council and PMAS Arid Agriculture
University has carried out successful steps for promotion of olive cultivation and progression in this field.
I appreciate the efforts for development of Agriculture especially Olive Farming in Pakistan. In welcome speech, Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, PARC shared his views and indicated that there is a great potential of olive cultivation in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pothohar region. Dr. Yusuf Zafar further added his views that Olive cultivation is most suitable for the marginal degraded lands on which it is being promoted for cultivation. He also said that the interest of Italy in promotion of olive cultivation in Pakistan is still continued and the presence of Italian Ambassador in conference is evidence of this interest. He further added that Prof. Dr. Nadeem Akhter Abbasi, Vice Chancellor, PMAS, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi and Stefano Pontecoryo, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of olive.

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