Punjab plans to make Pothohar region olive valley
LAHORE – Secretary Agriculture has said that Agriculture Department has chalked out a five-year plan for making Potohar region an olive valley.
He stated this during a review of 9th meeting of Olive Development Group (ODG) was held here Friday. Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Mahmood Punjab chaired the meeting, Director General Agriculture (Research) Dr. Abid Mahmood, Director BARI Chakwal Dr. Tariq, members of US Olive Development group and progressive olive growers participated this meeting.
Secretary Agriculture said under the project, the government would provide 0.20 million free olive plants to the selected farmers in Chakwal, Jhelum, Khushab and other districts. Special steps, he added, would be taken for the promotion of olive crop in Potohar region.
According to Agri Dept, a large number of growers are showing their keen interest in cultivation of olive crop and contact with agriculture department for obtaining olive plants and technical assistance regarding cultivation of the crop. Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Chakwal, Khushab and other districts are the potential areas for olive cultivation. The department is also conducting awareness and training programs to facilitate the people by creating awareness on olive cultivation techniques and producing value added products. The marginal lands could be utilized for olive cultivation without replacing other crops and it would also help in reducing the import bill of the country. Mahmood said that Punjab was playing an important role in ensuring food security in the country.
The pro-farmer policies of the government, he said, resulted in 3.5 per cent increase in agriculture growth.
Similarly, he said, some crops witnessed 8 per cent increase in growth this year.