KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): At least 16,000 olive saplings have been planted on 80 hectares of land to improve the economy of residents of southeastern Khost province.
The olive saplings have been planted on a hill in Zazai Maidan district, Agriculture Director Eng. Hafizullah Shah Noori told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The project cost $81,000 — 93 percent paid by a Swiss agency and remaining seven percent by residents.
He said Zazai Maidan district had appropriate climate for olive cultivation. Last year the possibility of cross-breeding had been 45 percent. Now it has increased to 65 percent.
Eng. Samadullah Sadat, head of tribal relations office, said income from olive cultivation was higher than other plants.
He said olive was a legal plant and could be cultivated everywhere and its income was also good. Extension of the project to other areas is on the cards.
Ali Sher, a resident of the district, said people would get more benefits if the project yielded better results.
“Olive could be used in making pickle, oil and medicines. As the people of Zazai Maidan are poor, this project will help them overcome poverty,” he remarked.
Noor Wali Shah, another resident, also believed olive plants could help improve the economy of the people.
The Agriculture Department head said he had a plan to improve the cultivation and use of other saplings, including cross-breeding.