Islamabad: (Parliament Times) National Tea & High Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI) of PARC has been carrying out research and development work on promotion of kiwifruit in Mansehra area. The results are encouraging and 90% survival rate recorded at as compared to the other locations in Pakistan. It was disclosed by Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC during a visit to NTHRI, Mansehra. He further added that KIWI-FRUIT is a high value Cash Crop and Kiwi farming can improve livelihood by providing a good source of income. This area has been found suitable for cultivating kiwi and the prospects for promoting and commercializing the fruit look brighter. Dr. Azeem was also of the view that due to its agro-climatic conditions, the Hazara division has great potential to become an important fruit basket for KP and the cultivation of fruit has an important position in the farming system of the Hazara valley by enhancing household nutrition and is a major feature of its survival economy. The Chairman also urged to encourage the growth of this fruit as Pakistan is blessed with all kind of seasons with plenty of resources.
On visit at NTHRI, The Chairman, PARC was also given a detailed presentation about the history of tea cultivation up to the present status and also highlighted other high value crops production ongoing activities at the institute as well. The Chairman paid a detailed visit of Newly established Pilot Turkish Black Tea Processing Plant & all its related section of processing, a head further to Green Tea Processing Plant, while both the plants were in full functional and process the black and green teas.
On the occasion, Dr. Abdul Waheed, Director (NTHRI) disclosed that National Tea & High Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI), Shinkiari, Mansehra has also imported an extra virgin olive extraction plant to produce world-class olive oil which would start its work soon and its capacity of olive seed processing is 50 KG per day. The total cost of this plant is Rs 64 million rupees with the facilities of analyzer through which the quality and international standard of the Olive oil can be identified, fruit de-leafing, washing system, crushing mill and transfer pump.
Dr. Azeem Khan also visited the Institute field area and took very keen interest in tea garden, tea progeny garden, weather station, kiwifruit plantation, nursery of kiwifruit, mother fruit orchards, progeny of fruit plants and nursery of budded/grafted fruits plant, tea breeding block and vegetables section. He appreciated the work done by the scientists, also highlighted the Green tea quality and its scope on international level like Japan and hoped that other than tea, Institute will also play a vital and leading role in the further improvement of new agriculture brands of “PARC” specially in fruits/Kiwi /Olive and vegetables. Chairman emphasized and urged to enhance the capacity of nursery plants upto the maximum level for disbursement among the farmers and local growers