23 March 2018

TİKA Offers Support for Olive Oil Production in Montenegro

The olive oil production plant established with the support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in Ulcinj, a city in southern Montenegro, is preparing to enter international markets.

At the end of last year, TİKA established an olive oil production plant as part of its "Program to Support Food and Life Security in the Balkans and Eastern European Countries" in the Pistula village of Ulcinj, a touristic and rare place in the country, where olives can be cultivated.

Established amidst green olive trees and operated with great devotion since the day it was set up, the plant preserves the aroma and quality of olives through cold pressing technique, which relies on a two-phase closed system, and also reduces waiting time after harvest, thus allowing for the production of high-quality olive oil which contains low levels of acidity.

In a statement by the "Maslinari Pistule" Olive Producers Association established by TİKA for the marketing of the products and to bring together olive producers in order to enable solidarity while also promoting employment and increasing the income of families living in rural areas, it was stated that a total of 6,000 liters of olive oil was produced with the support of TİKA in the initial trials and that laboratory results demonstrated this olive oil to be of top quality.

Producers were supported with Turkish technology

Thanks to olive oil pressing technology exported from Turkey, which has become renowned worldwide in olive oil production, to Montenegro, this nation has also gained momentum when it comes to olive processing.

Ulcinj, which is small in terms of total area but very rich in arable land, has a total of 120,000 olive trees (80,000 old and 40,000 new) which bear fruit. In October, the month of olive harvest, yields of 35 to 150 kilograms per tree are obtained. In Ulcinj, at the end of the seasonal harvest in which 10,000 tons of olives are collected, about 200 tons of olive oil can be produced.

The fact that the methods and technologies used in the production of olives in Montenegro are lagging behind the contemporary standards negatively affects income levels and quality of life.

In Ulcinj, very few people involved with olive oil production possess pressing machines, and producers are unable to turn their high-quality olive trees into profit.

Extensive olive cultivation training in Montenegro

In a statement by the "Maslinari Pistule" Olive Producers Association, it was expressed that TİKA would organize a training program in March on periodicity, which has negative effects on olive yields, and that the training would include applied activities on olive cultivation, fertilization, applied pruning, irrigation, overcoming olive diseases and damages, and provision of olive gardens.

Moreover, it was also reported that the members of the association would be provided trainings oriented towards new product development, such as the sensory analysis of olive oil and the traditional production of olive oil soap and table olives.

Through the "Program to Support Food and Life Security in the Balkans and Eastern European Countries," TİKA aims to establish income-generating projects in countries that depend on agriculture and ensure that in terms of rural development, the products and services, which are produced according to the local characteristics, reach international markets.

Since the most important source of income for the residents of Ulcinj and the surrounding villages is olive and olive oil production, TİKA has implemented this new agricultural project to increase the income and employment levels of families living particularly in the rural areas of Montenegro.


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