Now Reading: Italy Wants to Explore the Possibility of Olive Cultivation in Sindh
In a recent development, Italy has shown interest in the possibility of cultivating olive in the province of Sindh. This was revealed when Italian Consul General in Karachi – Danilo Giurdanella – said that Italy is already assisting Pakistan in olive cultivation, the processing of olives and extraction of extra-virgin olives in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, and now, it is ready to help the Sindh government explore the same possibility of olive cultivation in the province.
The Italian Consul General also discussed about the fact of the presence of wild olive species in some areas of Sindh, where land and climate is suitable. He expressed their willingness to initiate a dialogue for planning a tentative base-case to work for olive cultivation in the province. During a press conference in Karachi in connection with the launch of Italian Cuisine Week, he said,
“The Italian government is already cooperating in olive cultivation, processing of olive fruits and extraction of extra-virgin olive oil in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and we can also look into the possibility of growing olives in Sindh where suitable land and climate is available.”
The Italian diplomat further stated that they had learnt that some areas of Sindh where wild olive species are present include Gorakh Hill and Kirthar Mountains. He emphasized that not only could these wild olive trees be used for the edible olive production through grafting, but olive cultivation could also be carried out in these areas in order to obtain olive fruits.
“There is no reason why olives can’t be grown in the Sindh province. We are ready to explore this possibility and assist the local (provincial) government in this regard,” he added, doubling down on the fact that by utilizing the unused lands for the olive cultivation, the provincial government and local farmers could very well improve their economic conditions.
Replying to a query, Danilo Giurdanella said that Italian agricultural experts and food processing industry people could very well be invited to assist the provincial authorities very soon as they were already helping farmers in the two other provinces in Pakistan. He also expressed his satisfaction over the growing cooperation between Italy and Pakistan in various areas.
He highlighted how Italy was becoming a major export destination for Pakistani goods and services, and that Pakistan had posted a trade surplus with Italy in 2019-20. It is a fact too that as opposed to the imports of $490 million, Pakistan’s exports to Italy amounted to $730 million in 2019-20. Italy is the fifth largest export destination for Pakistani products within the European Union.
Islamabad’s top exports to Italy include textiles, cereals, hides and skins and plastics, amidst other things. Its major imports from Italy though are things like ships, boats, machinery, pharmaceutical products, aircraft, chemicals and iron and steel.
Pakistani rice also enjoys immense popularity in Italy, Danilo said, noting that its market share in the country is 38 percent. For context, Pakistan exports about $62 million worth of rice to Italy every year. Unsurprisingly though, as Pakistan ranks 4th in the world’s top rice exporters’ list for 2019.
We hope Pakistan keeps up to this positive trend in the future as well!