Nowshera – Staff Reporter:
An olive plantation campaign has been launched by the federal government in Nowshera.
Prime Minister Imran Khan kick started the campaign on Monday. He was accompanied by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Special Assistant on Climate Change Amin Aslam.
7,500 olive saplings are being planted at Nowshera’s Amangarh plantation site.
The government plans on planting 50 million olive trees in the country. It is a part of the 10 billion Tree Tsunami programme.
Aslam had earlier said that the programme has been developed for areas that face water shortages and droughts.
Food security Pakistan’s biggest challenge: PM Imran Khan
The premier said olive plantation can help tackle Pakistan’s food security problem, which he termed as the country’s “biggest challenge”.
He also said planting olives can bring foreign exchange into Pakistan.
Speaking about the importance of olives, he said the impact of olive production will not help just KP, but all of Pakistan.
“There was a time Pakistan was exporting wheat,” PM Khan said, adding that this year Pakistan had to import four million tonnes of wheat.
Similarly, he said, Pakistan also had to import sugar.
“We already import edible oils like ghee and palm oils. Our biggest challenge in the coming days is how we will provide our people with food and good nutrition,” he said.
He then spoke about the challenge of foreign exchange reserves and emphasised on the difference in the country’s import and export figures.
The premier then said that the 10 billion Tsunami project will protect our future generation. He urged the youth of Pakistan to contribute to the project for their own sake.
Pakistan spends a lot on import of edible oil that can be reduced with the production of olive oil locally by planting olive trees particularly on western bank of the Sindh River, he said.
The production of olive oil can also generate news jobs and flourish businesses in the country.
What is the olive plantation project?
KP MNA Kamran Bangash gave details about the olive plantation campaign on Twitter shortly after Prime Minister Imran Khan launched it.
He said that in a few years, the ‘#OliveTreeTsunami’ will bring overhauling uplifts in multiple sectors of Pakistan.
He said the project will not only ward off the increased conversion of land into deserts, but a national resource of a healthy edible oil will emerge as well.
“Wild lives are also surely to be flourished back and the true biodiverse potential of Pakistan will be tapped into,” the MNA wrote.
Olive is the national fruit of the barren KSA & Pakistan will soon become the biggest exporter of the fruit, he said.
Praising the premier, Bangash said PM Khan is giving Pakistan a new identity in the world for the best olive orchards.