As one of the leading olive-producing regions in China, Fujian Province still has a long way to go in perfecting its processing industrial chain. A lack of high-quality olives means there is great potential in the market for by-products. In other words, there is a lot of untapped potential in this market.
Chen Rui, General Manager of Fujian Baihejiang Industrial Development Co., Ltd., noted in an interview with China Economic Net that introducing excellent olive varieties from countries along the Belt and Road, and carrying out planting and processing technology exchanges with them, would be a win-win situation. Edible olives are rich in nutrients, providing protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, iron and other minerals.
Pakistan’s recent inclusion in the International Olive Council means that there is great potential for the country to become a leading producer of olive oil. With 10 million acres of land suitable for cultivation, Pakistan has the potential to produce twice as much olive oil as Spain, the current leader in production.
Pakistan’s olive industry is facing a number of challenges, which offers opportunities for agricultural cooperation between China and Pakistan. According to Farhan Pasha, Pakistani olive growers often need to use costly imported fertilizers or pesticides when faced with pests and diseases, but this is beyond the purchasing power of most ordinary farmers.
Even innocuous-seeming materials like ginger and pepper spray can have powerful sterilizing and insecticidal effects. For pest control, we can breed beneficial insects, like ladybugs, to kill pests.
As for fertilizers, Chen emphasized that in most cases, his olive orchard chooses organic bio-fertilizers, such as chicken and sheep manure, which are of great help in increasing production. At present, there are two main varieties of edible olives, in his orchard, with a total planting area of about 2,500 mu (about 166.67 hectares).
The output of the past five years has been approximately 500,000 kilograms yearly, while the output value reaches 50 million yuan annually. Out of these, Meixiang No. 2 has had an outstanding yield, each tree bearing 250-400 kilograms during the annual picking season in August. We have had close cooperation with China in many fields under the CPEC framework, so they can provide us with high-level support concerning agricultural technology.
Joint ventures between China and Pakistan for olive cultivation and processing, as well as other cash crops, are immensely viable solutions that should be implemented. Inam ul Haq, a horticulturist at the Barani Agricultural Research Institute in Chakwal, is one person who has included Chinese investment in his plans.
Chinese and Pakistani counterparts have high expectations for the olive by-product processing industry. suggest that some areas with high agricultural potential, including the Potohar region, could become exclusive agricultural zones under CPEC. In addition, professionals from both China and Pakistan have high expectations for the olive by-product processing industry.
Fujian’s main olive by-products are things like juice, syrup, honey, preserved fruit, tea, vinegar, and beverages. Of these, olive tea – made from olives and black tea with ginger and olive salt – is very popular locally.
Olives also enhance the aroma of tea, making it more lingering, as Chen told the Central European News. there are lots of processed olive products with high added value, such as pickled olives, olive sugar, and so on.
The residue left after processing olives can also be used for livestock feed. We can cooperate with Chinese research institutes or enterprises, and I hope our government can play an active role in policy guidance and industry support.
By now, we have introduced pickled olives to some Chinese dealers, who are very interested in it and expressed that they will seize the opportunity to promote cooperation between the two parties, Syed Yousaf Ali, an owner of olive orchard at Sehgal farmhouse Kallar Kahar, echoed confidently.