ISLAMABAD: Pakistani olive oil producers are preparing to enter the world market, with 27.5 million olive trees planted on more than 30,000 acres of land.
The plant is being expanded by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Islamabad, and Azad Kashmir, a report published by Gwadar Pro on Wednesday. Pakistan has 10 million acres [10 million ha] of suitable land, about twice as much as Spain, which is now the world’s largest producer of olive oil. With the expansion of cultivated land, Pakistan is undergoing a gradual transformation in olive oil production. The sector is rapidly moving the country forward with confidence by promoting the Pakistani national brand under the name ‘Pak Olive’ by 2021.
According to the report, Pakistan Olive Oil of Pakistan will be established under the auspices of the Department of Food Security and National Research to propose policy measures to promote olive oil in the country. Mohammed Tariq, director of Pak Olive, said that by the end of the 2019 – 20 season, the average production of olive oil in Pakistan would reach about 1,400 tons. By 2027, production is expected to reach 16,000 tons.
The government also plans to issue certificates for the marketing and production of olive oil in the private sector. The project aims to clear more than 50,000 hectares of land in the country by 2022. The available land for cultivation of olive trees is 10 million hectares in Punjab, mainly Pothwar, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Fata, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan. According to the report, by the year 2024, total oil production will increase to Rs1.727 billion.
“In KP, more than a million olive trees are being cultivated on an area of 9,391 hectares, including 768 farmers. Therefore, by 2024, the country will have about 3 million olive trees producing 1,415 tons of olive oil at an estimated cost of R4,416 million.”
Olive oil refining mines have been established by the public and private sectors in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Baluchistan. In total, nine oil-producing plants have been established in Pakistan. Eight of the nine plants are already operational, and one will be operational by October.
According to experts, olive plants will help reduce the effects of climate change. They also provide permanent plant cover, which saves the earth from erosion and degradation and reduces the silt load on downstream water stores. Olive fruits require less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and less energy than other large oil-producing crops each year.