Rawalpindi - Speakers at a workshop suggested that olive industry of Pakistan should be made sustainable as well as profitable in order to compete in the international market.

Moreover, they said, selection of suitable regions, appropriate olive varieties, selection of suitable cultivars, pest and disease management, ensuring quality control, preparing human capital and capacity building of farmers are some of the utmost factors for growing olive in Pakistan.

They also pointed that the present system of water management lacks to address the water challenges of Pakistan and suggested that effective improvement of water management in Pakistan is possible through the research, institutional partnership, and improved decision-making mechanism.

They stated this while addressing the concluding session of the three days  international workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture Water Management in a Changing Environment- A special Focus on Olive Tree”, at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR, here on yesterday.

The workshop was organised by the PMAS-AAUR Department of Environmental Sciences in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC), Trees and Timber Institute - National Research Council (CNR) of Italy and Institute of European Studies “Alcide De Gasperi”, with an aim to demonstrate technologies for sustainable water use and promote olive cultivation in Pakistan in addition to provision of technical expertise to the local researchers, academia representatives and olive cultivars.

Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmad was the chief guest on the occasion. In his address, he stressed the need to implement the olive research into the fields in order to meet the olive oil needs and getting maximum yields in changing climate.

He said that Pakistan is blessed with tremendous natural resources but facing a shortage of food, energy and water.  He stressed the need to transform new techniques & technologies to the farmers to increase the per capita production of country.

“The adoption of the latest agricultural development & technology will help decrease food insecurity.

Water use should be rationalised as well,” he said. Earlier, Chairman HEC, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad also planted at tree and inaugurated Aquarium-cum- Aviary in University premises.

Earlier, PMAS-AAUR, Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his address emphasised the importance of olive and olive cultivation in the area and assured the institutional support of PMAS-AAUR for the developmental initiatives of olive and its cultivation. He stressed for holding such events on regular basis for the socio economic development of the region.