PAMCO to promote mass production of fruits

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Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO) is going to set up imported olive, seedless citrus and grape nurseries, in collaboration with private sector, to start mass scale production of certified imported fruits. Speaking to Profit, PAMCO Chief Executive Officer Dr Hamid Jalil revealed PAMCO was going to develop Potohar region, including Attock, Rawalpindi, Jehlum, Chakwal and Khushab, as olive production zone. Similarly, seedless citrus zone would be established in Thal region on fertile lands of Bhakhar and Layyah, while grapes valley would be developed in sweet water zone of Cholistan, which surrounded over Bhawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur.
In the initial phase, he said, PAMCO had invited expression of interest (EoI) from international and local firms for provision of certified mother plants that have proven fruit quality and international recognition. He said project would be run on public-private-partnership model. PAMCO would provide these imported mother plants and technical expertise to private sector free of cost for development of local nurseries, he maintained. Speaking about olive development locally, Dr Jalil said PAMCO had selected nine internationally recognised olive varieties, including Moralolo, Pendolina, Frontoio, Coratina, Leccino, Ottobratica, Nabali, Gemlik and Sevillano, for domestic production. Initially, around 500 disease free olive mother plants would be imported from different parts of the world. These would later be reproduced in locally established nurseries for mass production, he added.
Similarly, seedless citrus varieties, including Kinnow Mandarin, Washington Navel and Valencia Late, and grapes varieties, like Thompson Seedless, Kings Ruby and Perlette, are being imported. Most mother plants would be imported from Turkey, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Tunisia, etc and strict certification and photo-sanitary compliance would be ensured, he underscored.

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