RAWALPINDI: Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) Director Dr Muhammad Tariq has said that the set target to plant 337,500 olive saplings this year in Potohar region will be achieved.
Talking to newsmen on Sunday, he said that around 48,600 olive saplings were planted last year. In this connection, he said that the provincial Agriculture Department had invited applications for provision of free of cost olive saplings from the eligible farmers of Pothohar region, including Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jehlum, Attock and Khushab districts.
Under the five-year (2015-2020) plan, the Punjab government will provide two million olive saplings free of cost to the farmers of Pothohar region. The programme was launched in 2015 under the direction of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to promote local production of olive oil thus substantially curtailing import bill in edible oil sector.
The eligibility criteria for grant of free olive saplings includes those farmers (men or women) belonging to the region, if he or she possesses sufficient irrigation resources for upbringing an olive orchard or aspiring to avail 70 % subsidy to manage irrigation resources.
In case the grower is inclined to have drip irrigation system then the applicant will be eligible to avail 60% subsidy for the project of drip irrigation.
The applicant will be responsible for payment of expenditures incurred on transportation and pit digging for planting saplings in the orchard.
According to the agriculture department, the grower will be offered subsidy in accordance with the set rules and procedure and the guarantee will fully comply with the recommendations of the department.
Dr Tariq said that the Punjab Agriculture Department would also import high quality saplings from best-recognised countries for the production of olive.
Application forms are available free of cost at Rain Agriculture Research Institute Kohat Road Fateh Jang, Groundnut Institue Farooq-e-Azam Road Attock, Fruit Research Institute Noshera District Khushab, District Officer Water Management Jehlum and Talagang Road Chakwal.
The forms can be downloaded from the website of the agriculture department.
Source: Daily Times