Italy will provide 20 million euros in technical assistance to Pakistan for an Olive Plantation Project launched last year as the South Asian nation seeks to make olive part of its vast agriculture base.
The project worth 2 billion rupees targets to cultivate olive plants on more than 50,000 acres under the Vision 2025, planned by the Planning Ministry to boost country’s economic growth and develop its infrastructure.
The offer of assistance was made during a meeting between the officials and a delegation of Italian olive sector experts held in Islamabad and also attended by Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Stefano Pontecrvo.
Italy’s assistance will be critical in making this project a success, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the delegation. The government is focusing on developing full value-chain for olive products. Pakistan has huge potential for olive cultivation.
He also urged for developing an effective monitoring system with clear outcomes and deliverables to ensure sold results. “There should be performance indicators on olive cultivation, tree plantation, per tree yield etc. to make the project a successful,” he stated.
Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan looks forward to Italy for the success of this project because of its experience and expertise in olive area and said that the technical assistance of Italy would help Pakistan greatly in capacity building and skills of Pakistanis in olive cultivation and plantation.
Italian experts will stay in Pakistan for one and half month to meet with the relevant authorities and experts for formulation of policy recommendations for implementation of its technical assistance program.