Some weeks ago, the Executive Secretariat was contacted by Dr Muhammad Tariq, the Director of the Barani Agricultural Research Institute of Pakistan, who was very interested in the International Olive Council. The Secretariat put together a programme of visits and appointments for Dr Tariq at the IOC headquarters and several institutions in Andalusia.
During a working meeting, Dr Tariq told the IOC Executive Director about the research carried out on Spanish, Italian and Greek varieties at the Barani Institute with a view to developing olive growing in Pakistan. After hearing about the objectives of the 2005 International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives and the tasks of the IOC, the Executive Director and Dr Tariq agreed it would be worthwhile to inform the Pakistani authorities on the possibilities of obtaining observer status of the Organisation.
Several officers from the IOC Technical Unit and the Chemistry & Standardisation Unit also met with Dr Tariq and arranged a programme of visits for him, notably including a tour of the world collection of olive varieties in Córdoba and a meeting with two members of the teaching faculty of Córdoba University to discuss molecular markers and olive propagation. He also visited a plant nursery in the region.