In a significant development the Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) in Srinagar has claimed successful cultivation of olive trees in Valley. Olive trees are grown in regions like New Zealand and parts of Argentina.
“Sixty types of varieties were brought from United States, Egypt and Italy. Six Italian varieties gave good results in Kashmir’s temperate climate,” Nazir Ahmed, Director of CITH, told a local news agency, KNS.
“Olive cultivation in the potential areas of Kashmir can produce a large quantity of oil which may bring Kashmir olive oil imports to zero. There is a vast potential for olive cultivation in Kashmir which can be adopted by new plantation and grafting available wild varieties,” he said. “These Olive trees are four years old. We planted them in 2008. The commercial bearing begins after 10-12 years when the tree grows fully and fruit size is also enhanced. The average yield of olives in Spain is about 2.5 tones. We can generate a better production after treating our trees scientifically,” he told KNS.
According to research by central institute of temperate horticulture the prevailing environment, minimum/maximum temperature, soil types, average rainfall and other related growth factors in Kashmir areas are according to olive cultivation requirements.
Meanwhile in this context, the department is holding awareness and training programs on olive cultivation techniques and produce value added products.