Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (AAUR) in collaboration with the Italian government will join hands to promote olive farming in Pakistan.
The move is aimed at producing enough olive oil to meet domestic demand and export quotas to foreign markets. The decision was taken during a meeting between AAUR Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and the Italian Embassy’s Dr Marco Marchetti on Tuesday.
The Italian government will be providing technical and financial support while olive oil plantations will be spread across thousands of acres of Punjab, particularly in the Potohar region. Ahmad said the promotion of olive cultivation will help the country’s agricultural growth, by providing an alternate source of income for farmers.
AAUR will be conducting awareness and training programmes on cultivation techniques and producing value-added products. Italian scientists will also provide training to university faculty, students and local growers to ensure that farming is of high quality.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2013.
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