ISLAMABAD - Olive expert and National Project Director (Olive) Dr. Muhammad Munir said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is playing a leading role in introduction of olive plantation in Pakistan with the financial support of Italian Government and technical support of Provincial Governments. He said up till now 1700 acres olive plantation has been made in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPT), FATA and Balochistan.

Five to six years back planted trees, are now, at fruiting stage and these fruits needs utilisation for income. There is good marketing of these fruits at reasonable price but to increase the income of olive farmers and to alleviate poverty, these fruits should be utilised at local level and farmers should process and prepare the products by their own. By involving rural females in value added products of olive fruits at household level, a significant increase in their income can be attained.

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in collaboration with Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) Chakwal and Afnepak Project organised a training course for female farmers on “Olive Value Addition” at Bari Chakwal to assess the need of future and to support the farmers to generate income through preparation of live products.

The female farmers were trained about the medicinal importance of olive and how to make the products of olive.

They were trained practically how to make olive pickle, jam, murrabba, syrup and bakery items.

On concluding session of the training, Ivan Virtuosi, Italian Experts and Director Afnepak, Dr Nasir Mahmood Cheema, DPD (Olive) PARC, Dr Muhammad Tariq, Director BARI Chakwal, Dr Fahad Karim Awan and other olive expert addressed the participants and  said that in Pakistan 52pc population is of females and they can play a vital role in the development of agriculture.

They said this training will provide females an opportunity to learn about the preparation of products from olive. In coming year these trained rural female farmers will help to develop a cottage industry resulting in increase of farmer income, reduction in unemployment and putting farming community on the road to prosperity. At the end, certificates were also distributed among the training participants.