PARC promoting cultivation of olive, pomegranate in FATA
Around 165 acres of olive plantation has been made in different areas of Federally Administrated Territory Area (FATA). One nursery has been established and 7,000 cuttings have been planted in the nursery.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) said pomegranate was also being planted in the area to increase the farmer income. 400 plants of pomegranate have been planted.
He emphasised that there was need to introduce Arabic olive plantation (olive along with fig, pistachio and pomegranate etc) in the area which would not only increase the income of farmers but also it might result to eliminate poppy cultivation. Alternative high value crops like olive fig pistachio and pomegranate can make a revolution in the area and play a role in poverty alleviation.
He said development of certified nurseries using sterilised compost and according to international standards was essential to meet the local requirements of quality olive plants.
Rehmat Jaan Director SPDP FATA presented the current status of olive planted under the olive promotion project in FATA. He said too get rid of load shedding and for sustainable source of irrigation tube-wells with solar power has been installed.
Members of National Assembly from FATA Malik Nazir and Ghalib Khan Wazir also attending the meeting were very much interested in development of FATA in agriculture sector.
They said they would lead for agriculture development especially for olive, pomegranate pistachio, walnut and fig cultivation, development of cottage industry and value addition of agricultural products in the FATA areas.
Dr Muhammad Munir acting member PSD PARC and olive expert said PARC was providing every type of assistance for the development of FATA in agriculture sector.
Dr Nasir Mahmood Cheema DPD (Olive) said MNAs of FATA were spokesmen of PARC in tribal areas and olive cultivation would result in terrorism reduction as more income from olive and other fruit plants would divert the attention of people towards agriculture expansion and they would have no time for any other anti activity.