About Dr. M Tariq

Muhammad Tariq (Ph.D)

National Project Director

Olive Promotional Program in Pakistan
Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Islamabad


Muhammad Tariq is a distinguished professional having vast diverse experience in the field of agriculture, project management, research/innovation and administration. He graduated in Agriculture, followed by M.Sc. (Hons.) and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding & Genetics, from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

With a career spanning over three decades, He has held key positions in the agricultural sector, particularly in the areas of oilseeds, maize, millets, resource conservation, climate resilience agriculture, high-value crops and innovative technologies. As a team leader, he has been instrumental in providing visionary guidance and direction for planning, executing research and development programs in the public sector harnessing Pakistan’s immense agricultural potential.

Various national, international collaborations and partnerships were established for the implementation of targeted R&D initiatives in different disciplines. He has proven record of geƫng substantial grants from various agencies and institutions to support these programs. As part of his commitment to knowledge dissemination, he has effectively transformed research-based findings and technologies through publications, print media, electronic media, and other channels (227 in total).

He has played a pivotal role in evaluating the adaptability and commercial potential of drought-tolerant crops like Olive, Pistachio, Avocado,Berries, Kiwi, Saffron, and Quinoa in rain fed regions. His efforts have contributed to the development of 19 high-yielding, disease resistant and climate-resilient varieties of several high value crops.

The most significant achievements include the commercialization of promising high value, low delta crops such as Olive, Grapes, and Peaches to the marginalized rural communities in Pakistan. By adopting a multidisciplinary approach, he aimed to enhance water and land productivity, improve economic returns and address environmental challenges like soil degradation, carbon sequestration, and global warming. He has also commanded the testing and introduction of various technologies, including conservation agricultural practices, water saving techniques, watershed management, vermicomposting, and sustainable land management practices to combat desertification in arid regions. In this regard he has executed 33 projects.

He is also recognized for successful transformation of resource poor, degradation prone Pothwar region of Pakistan into a thriving hub for olive cultivation during his tenure under the Government of Punjab. Approximately
1.9 million olive plants were cultivated, accompanied by comprehensive value chain development. This initiative has had a profound impact on the eco-geographical environment of the area and significantly improved the
livelihoods of rural communities. As the program leader of the National Olive Initiative in Pakistan, Dr. Tariq is currently overseeing the commercialization and up scaling of emerging olive sector, with cultivation expanding to more than 3.5 million plants across all provinces and regions. Around 10,000 farm families are benefiting from olive cultivation, and there is substantial potential for further growth. The olive commercialization program has an immense monitory significance and has far reaching impact on social, environmental and livelihood improvement.

In order to boost olive sector, he has the credit of strengthening processing capabilities, tissue culture laboratory, modern nursery raising, value addition facilities, weather monitoring, and the establishment of a National Reference Laboratory for olive oil quality. Additionally, he has been actively involved in creating awareness among stakeholders about the significance of olive crops, particularly in the production of pomace oil, cellulose organic dyes, ethanol, pellets and nutraceutical products. His efforts have led to Pakistan’s connection with the International Olive Oil Council and other olive organizations, establishing the country as a recognized player in the global olive industry.

Based upon his work and contributions he was nominated for the prestigious award of Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Punjab during 2024. In addition, he has also been conferred Top Ten Productive Scientist of Pakistan Award and Research Productivity Awards during 2012, 2014 and 2017 to acknowledge his career achievements.