On World Olive Tree Day, the Pak Olive National Gala is being held in Islamabad to provide opportunities to explore Olive Sector Development in Pakistan. The event is being organized by “Promotion of Olive Cultivation on a commercial scale in Pakistan Phase-II” and the Italian-funded “OliveCulture-Holistic and Multi-professional Mechanism for a Pakistani Olive Oil Value Chain” project.
In addition to providing an opportunity to explore the olive sector, the PakOlive Brand has been launched on this special occasion to help drive consumers to purchase certified quality olive oil produced in Pakistan. The event is joined by olive sector developers, consumers, businesses, entrepreneurs, service providers, support institutions, investors, farmers, youth, rural women, and the foreign community.
Dr. Kausar Abdullah Malik, Federal Minister, Ministry of National Food Security & Research, graced the occasion with his presence as chief guest and reiterated the commitment of Pakistani communities towards promoting Olive production. This enhances olive production and provides income opportunities to communities, especially women and youth. He also stressed the need for an adequate policy supporting the olive sector’s rural development.
Mr. Marco Marchetti, International Project Coordinator, OliveCulture Project, addressed the audience and highlighted Italian involvement in enhancing the olive value chain in Pakistan. He said that our mission is to systematize and consolidate the results achieved so far by Pakistani and Italian initiatives carried out in Pakistan to weave a national canvas (Holistic Mechanism) to build all the steps – from farm to fork- of a Pakistani Olive Oil Value Chain, to be tailored to each Province’s requirements.
Dr Muhammad Tariq, National Project Director, Promotion of Olive Cultivation on commercial scale in Pakistan Phase-II welcomed the audience. He shared the holistic and multi-professional approach for a Pakistani Olive Value Chain. He also highlighted the current situation of olives in Pakistan and the untapped potential of olive cultivation. He said that Pakistan had been identified as a favourable country for olive cultivation and would soon become a member of the International Olive Council.
The olive tree is a “hardy and evergreen tree” that can grow in all types of soil except in saline soil and areas with stagnant water. Its roots do not extend deep underground, making cultivating even in hilly areas possible.
Salvatore Parano, Director of the Italian Trade Agency, said that Olive cultivation and olive oil production are increasing manifolds in Pakistan due to the efforts of the Pakistan government and Italy and with the results of efforts coming up, we are hoping that Pakistan will soon be exporting olive oil to the world even Italy.
During this two day event, an Olive oil organoleptic competition will also take place, and awards will be given to the top 20 progressive olive farmers and three scientists for best field performance, best packaging, and bottling for quality oil and quality olive oil. The event will be followed by the World Olive Tree Day Walk.