Executive Director of International Olive Council, Abdul Latif Khadira, Head of the Department for External Affairs, Mounir Fourati, and the Ambassador of Tunisia, Borhene EL Kamel, called on the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, on Friday 22nd October 2021.
Fakhar Imam said that by becoming a member of OIC, Pakistan can achieve its full potential with respect to olive production. He said that 36,000 acres of land is currently under olive production in Balochistan, KPK and Punjab. The Minister hoped that by increasing the production of olive with the help of OIC, the value-added industry of olive can thrive in Pakistan.
Fakhar Imam said that we need to learn from the examples of countries like the Netherlands that export $24 billion of flowers and is the biggest player in the flower industry worldwide. He said that Pakistan has immense potential to become one of the biggest players in mangoes yet our production of mangoes is 1.7 million tonnes of which only 7-8% is exported. He said that through cooperation with OIC, Pakistan can also become one of the major growers of olive in the world.
Fakhar said that Spain is responsible for half of the entire olive production in the world at 1.5 million tonnes. He said that through technology transfer, the latest varieties of olive and high quality of human resource, Pakistan can also become a top grower of olive.
Abdul Latif Khadira said that Pakistan meets all the requirements to become a member of OIC. He said that Pakistan has shown that it has the potential to increase its olive production. He said that through OIC Pakistan can acquire the latest technology, knowledge, and climate-resistant olive varieties which have the highest yield. Abdul said that OIC can also provide human resource trainings to transfer the skill set required to operate the latest technologies with respect to olive production. Khadira also invited the Federal Minister to attend the next seminar organized by OIC on olive production in Georgia in November, 2021.
Ambassador of Tunisia, Borhene EL Kamel, said that the topography of Balochistan is very similar to Tunisia. He said that Tunisia is the second-largest producer of olive in the world. He said that Tunisia can share technical support, its latest technologies and olive production techniques with Pakistan to increase its olive production.