‘Olive tsunami’ project

Olive oil is like the good old nine oils — a panacea for nearly everything that ails man

November 24, 2020

Considering the immense health benefits of olive and olive oil, the ministry of climate change is to plant olive trees on a large scale under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme. The olive wood is also a strong timber. Trees are to be planted in Chakwal, Hangu and areas where the soil is suitable for growing olive.

Increased olive cultivation will save the country billions now spent on the import of olive oil. Doctors are unanimous that olive oil is good for health. It helps digestion, prevents bad cholesterol, slows down the ageing process of skin, bones and joints and also protects against many forms of cancer. It can be enjoyed without the fear of digestive guilt, and this is why world consumption of olive oil and olive is on the rise. Pakistan has taken to olive cultivation late. It has long been spending precious foreign exchange on importing olive oil though the climate in most parts of the country is suitable for growing olive trees. The ministry of food and agriculture will help in identifying areas where olive cultivation can be carried out and also undertake research to increase yield of the crop.

Olive has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region since ancient times and the fruit and its oil are part of the region’s cuisine. Olive tree has been described as a camel among trees as they are able to store enough water to keep them going through long periods of drought, an almost everlasting tree. There are some in the Middle East that are estimated to be 2,000 years old. Olive is mostly grown in Spain, Italy and the Middle East. Olive oil is classified as virgin, fine virgin and extra virgin according to the amount of fatty acids they contain. It is the label of ‘extra-virgin’ on bottles of olive oil that leaves people amused. Olive oil is like the good old nine oils — a panacea for nearly everything that ails man.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2020.

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