RAWALPINDI: The Barani Agriculture Research Institute (Bari) announced, on Sunday, that they were on schedule in their target of planting 337,500 olive saplings in the Potohar region, during the current year.
Bari Director Dr Muhammad Tariq informed the APP that 48,600 olive saplings were planted last year.
He said that the Provincial Agriculture Department had invited applications till September 30th, for the provision of free olive saplings from eligible farmers of the Potohar region, including districts of Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jehlum, Attock and Khushab.
The Punjab government is going to provide two million olive saplings for free, to the farmers of the Pothohar region, under its five-year plan (2015-2020).
The programme aims to promote local production of olive oil, in order to reduce the import bill in the edible oil sector.
The eligibility criteria for the grant of free olive saplings extends to those farmers belonging to the region, who possess sufficient irrigation resources for the maintenance of an olive orchard, or who aspire to avail the 70 per cent subsidy available, to manage irrigation resources.
If the grower opts to establish a drip irrigation system, then the applicant shall be eligible to avail a 60 per cent subsidy.
The applicant will, however, be responsible for payment of transportation costs and the digging of pits, for the purpose of planting the saplings.
Applications on a printed form, along with the photocopy of the Computerised National Identity Card are to be sent through post to the Rain Agriculture Research Institue (Chakwal) director, or may be dropped in person.
The application forms are available free of cost at Rain Agriculture Research Institute Kohat Road, Fateh Jang; Groundnut Institute, Farooq-e-Azam Road, Attock; Fruit Research Institute Nowshera, District Khushab; Water Management Bilal Town Jhelum, and Chakwal District officers.
These forms may also be downloaded from the official website; and photocopies may also be submitted.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2016.