The production of olive oil has increased by 10 times in eastern Nangarhar province compared to its last year’s yield, an official said on Thursday.
Ziarat Gul Rahil, the Nangarhar Valley Development Authority (NVDA) director, said the olive yield this year was unprecedented as compared to the last one decade.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, he said the production this year stood at nearly 350 tonnes compared to only 30 tonnes the previous year.
Rahil informed that an olive processing plant was half built and still lacked certain raw materials.
He said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had pledged $25 million in aid to the NVDA. “We have utilized 2.5 million so far and would start new projects worth $17 million soon”, Rahil said, elaborating the new projects would include repair and construction of 65 buildings.
He added the ADB had promised grating another $38 million next year. The USAID has also assured $15 million in aid, hoping the NVDA would become a role model for other institutions in the country over the next four years.
Ziarat Gul Rahil asked the central government to ensure that all required chemicals reached them in-time every season. He warned any negligence could destroy the important project.
He urged the provincial authorities to counter land-grabbing and help the NVDA reclaim its grabbed lands so that the plots could be utilised for the crop cultivation.