Farmers to get free saplings from 15th

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government would provide two million olive saplings free of cost to the farmers of Pothohar region. Under the first phase, the plantation campaign would formally be launched on February 15.

Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) Director Dr Muhammad Tariq said that applications were invited in December 2015 for provision of olive saplings from the eligible farmers of Pothohar region, which includes Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jehlum, Attock and Khushab districts.

The programme is being launched on the direction of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, which is aimed at promoting local production of olive oil and curtailing import bill of edible oil, he said, adding that applicants would be required to pay the expenditure incurred on transportation and pit digging for planting saplings in the orchard.

The growers would be offered subsidy in accordance with the set rules and procedure and they would fully comply with the recommendations of the provincial Agriculture Department, he added.

He said around 0.27 million saplings would be distributed among the eligible applicants during first phase. For the purpose, he said the Punjab Agriculture Department has imported high quality saplings from recognised countries for the production of olive.

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