History of Olive in Pakistan
Olive was introduced first time in Pakistan by PARC during 1986 under an Italian Project titled “Fruit, Vegetable and olive Project” funded by Government of Italy. After this project a general survey was conducted to estimate the number of naturally occurred wild olive specie “Olea Cuspidata” and found more than 80 Million wild Olive plants in different district of Pakistan. Under another olive project of federal government 5.5 million olive plants were top worked but less than 1% plants survived in the result of top working because of management of top worked plants.
Current status of the Project
The project “Promotion of Olive Cultivation for Economic Development and Poverty Alleviation” was awarded to government of Pakistan by the Italian government under the Debt Swap Agreement. The project is in operation through PARC, s strong coordination system in KPK, Baluchistan, FATA and Punjab provinces. The aim of the project is to increase the local production of edible oils by cultivating olive specially to utilize culture-able waste lands in Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and FATA.
Main objectives of the olive promotional project are to expand the cultivation of olives in selected / identified areas through new plantation in Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Potohar. To promote oil cultivation and use of olive oil. To set up a number of new olive processing facilities (4 oil mills) complete with supporting infrastructures and equipment. To stimulate PPP’s for future management of newly established orchard and oil mills to ensure sustainability and to provide training, conduct technical studies and provide assistance to farmers.
Importance of Olive
Olive is good source of edible oil and is also used for table purpose particularly for pickles. The olive has not only nutritional and medicinal value but its fat content is also free from cholesterol. It is also used in food preservation, textile industry and cosmetic preparation along with variety of other purposes. Olive oil is one of the few widely used culinary oils that contain about 75% of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid). Olive fruit due to its nutritional and medicinal importance is a blessing of Almighty/Allah. Olive has been referred in noble way at many places in the Holy Quran and its importance has been certified by many saying of Holy Prophet.