National Olive Festival Showcases U.S.-Pakistan Partnership

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Mission Director Julie Koenen at the Olive festival
Mission Director Julie Koenen visiting the stalls at the National Olive Festival organized by the Barani Agricultural Research Institute.
Mission Director Julie Koenen.

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 25, 2019

The recently completed Center of Excellence for Olive Research and Training (CEFORT) was inaugurated during the National Olive Festival held at the Barani Agricultural Research Institute (BARI). The new research and innovation facility will increase olive production and employment opportunities. The two-day event also featured the installation of a U.S.-funded mobile olive oil extraction unit designed to increase efficiency and affordability for small farmers. 

Bringing together farmers, processors, and stakeholders from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Balochistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, these efforts highlight the huge potential of the olive sector. “USAID is proud to partner with the Punjab Government in this journey of transforming the Potohar region,” stated USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen. 

“The Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Punjab Agriculture Department, with support from development partners, are working toward realizing the promise this sector holds for contribution to the country’s agricultural economy, private sector investments, and jobs. CEFORT will support scientific and technical research and serve as a resource center in the region,” said Federal Secretary Muhammad Hashim Popalzai.

This initiative is a collaboration between BARI, the Punjab Agriculture Department, USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP), and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council. USAID’s (PEEP) is a seven-year investment to enhance private sector-led growth in the horticulture, livestock and dairy sub-sectors of Punjab through policy reform advocacy as well as human and institutional capacity development.