Pakistan Becomes Full Member of International Olive Council

Pakistan has become a full member of the International Olive Council (IOC)— an intergovernmental organization of states that produce olives or products derived from olives.

The council already has 18 members, mostly European and Middle Eastern nations in the Mediterranean region. Pakistan is now its nineteenth member, subsequent to the visit from the Executive Director of IOC, Abdul Latif Ghadira, last October, which was followed by a Pakistani delegation’s trip to the IOC’s headquarters in February.

Pakistan currently has 3.6 million olive plants over an area of 31,000 acres of land, and it plans to grow more of them over 75,000 acres of land. According to Juan Vilar of Strategic Consultants, Pakistan is producing 1,500 tons of olive oil per year and 830 tons of table olives.

Pakistan’s full membership will lead to strengthened international cooperation and bring the Pakistani olive oil sector closer to the council and promote the application of IOC standards in the world markets. Pakistan’s olive development program is expected to receive grants from the council, which annually finances the national programs of its member countries.

The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project was launched in 2014 by the last government and sparked a silent olive revolution in Pakistan. According to the Ministries of National Food Security and Climate Change, the government is running several projects for the development of olives. These efforts will help Pakistan become self-sufficient in olive production and be able to export olives in the future. Pakistan is the world’s third-largest importer of cooking oil and imported $2.1 billion worth of palm oil in 2020-21. The IOC’s certification will help it use the latest techniques and methods to improve its olive production.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...