An olive plantation campaign has been launched by the federal government in Nowshera.
Prime Minister Imran Khan started the campaign on Monday. He was accompanied by Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman, Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan and Special Assistant for Climate Change Amin Aslam.
7,500 olive trees are planted at the Amangarh plantation site in Nowshera.
The government plans to plant 50 million olive trees in the country. This is part of the 10 billion Tree Tsunami program.
Aslam previously said the program was developed for areas experiencing water shortages and drought.
Food security Pakistan’s biggest challenge: PM Imran Khan
The prime minister said olive groves could help address Pakistan’s food security concerns, which he called the country’s “biggest challenge”.
He also said growing olives could bring foreign exchange into Pakistan.
Talking about the importance of olives, he said the impact of olive production is not only helping KP, but the whole of Pakistan.
“There are times when Pakistan exports wheat,” said PM Khan, adding that this year Pakistan will have to import four million tonnes of wheat.
Likewise, he said, Pakistan must also import sugar.
“We are already importing vegetable oils like ghee and palm oil. Our biggest challenge in the coming days is how we will provide good food and nutrition to our people,” he said.
He then spoke about the challenge of foreign exchange reserves and emphasized the difference in the country’s import and export figures.
The prime minister later said that the 10 billion Tsunami projects will protect our future generations. He urged Pakistani youth to contribute to the project for their own benefit.
Pakistan spends a lot of money on vegetable oil imports which can be reduced by local olive oil production by planting olive trees especially on the west bank of the Sindh River, he said.
Olive oil production can also generate new jobs and thriving businesses in the country.
What is the olive plantation project?
KP MNA Kamran Bangash provided details about the olive plantation campaign on Twitter shortly after Prime Minister Imran Khan launched it.
He said that in a few years, ‘#OliveTreeTsunami’ will bring improvements in various sectors in Pakistan.
He said the project would not only prevent increased land conversion to deserts, but national resources for healthy vegetable oils would also emerge.
“Wildlife will also inevitably develop again and Pakistan’s true biodiversity potential will be harnessed,” wrote MNA.
Olives are the national fruit of the barren KSA & Pakistan will soon become the biggest fruit exporter, he said.
Praising the prime minister, Bangash said PM Khan gave Pakistan a new identity in the world for the best olive groves.