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1.
Introduction
 
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) or ladies finger is important vegetable of the tropical countries and most popular in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Cameroon, Iraq and Ghana. Though, it is virtually not grown in Europe and North America, yet, lot of people in these countries have started liking this vegetable because of good amount of vitamin A and folic acid, besides carbohydrates, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
 
 
 
World Scenario
 
The total area and production under okra is reported to be 1148.0 thousand ha and 7896.3 thousand tons. It is mainly grown in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Ghana, Egypt, Benin, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Cameroon. Largest area and production is in India followed by Nigeria. Highest productivity is reported from Egypt (12.5 tons/ha) followed by Saudi Arabia (13.3 tons/ha).
 
Showing the Area, Production and Productivity of Okra
Country
Area('000ha)
Production('000 tons)
Productivity mt/ha
% Share in World Production
India
498.00
5784.00
11.60
73.25
Nigeria
455.10
955.60
2.10
12.10
Sudan
21.50
256.00
11.90
3.24
Iraq
19.53
151.22
7.70
1.92
Cote d Ivoire
47.00
125.00
2.70
1.58
Pakistan
14.60
113.20
7.80
1.43
Egypt
6.89
86.23
12.50
1.09
Ghana
21.10
82.50
3.90
1.04
Saudi Arabia
4.20
55.80
13.30
0.71
Cameroon
15.50
43.00
2.80
0.54
Others
44.53
243.71
5.50
3.09
World + (Total)
1147.95
7896.26
6.90
100.00
 
  Source : Indian Horticulture Database – 2011
 
Indian Scenario
There is a slight increase in area and production from 2006-07 to 2010-11. The area has increased from 396.0 thousand ha to 498.0 thousand ha and the production has increased from 4070.0 thousand tons to 5784.0 thousand tons.
 
Area, production and productivity of okra in India
Years
Area in (000'ha)
Production in (000''mt)
Productivity in (mt/ha)
2006-07
396.00
4070.00
10.30
2007-08
407.00
4179.00
10.30
2008-09
432.00
4528.00
10.50
2009-10
452.50
4803.30
10.60
2010-11
498.00
5784.00
11.60
 
  Source : Indian Horticulture Database – 2011
 
2.
Major producing States with production of Last Three Years
Andhra Pradesh is the leading okra producing state which has production of around 1184.2 thousand tons followed by West Bengal (862.1 thousand tons). Then comes Bihar (788.3 thousand tons). Area, production and productivity of okra in different states is given in table.
 
Area, Production and Productivity of Leading Okra Growing States in India
Area in 000' ha; Production in 000'mt; Productivity ha/mt
State
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
% Share in Production
Area
 Prod.
Pdy.
Area
Prod.
Pdy.
Area
Prod.
Pdy.
Andhra Pradesh
29.30
439.70
15.00
33.50
502.10
15.00
78.90
1184.20
15.00
20.5
West Bengal
72.60
830.90
11.40
73.10
839.30
11.50
74.00
862.10
11.70
14.9
Bihar
58.20
743.50
12.80
58.30
766.60
13.10
58.50
788.30
13.50
13.6
Orrisa
73.30
639.90
8.70
73.90
651.80
8.80
70.00
651.80
9.30
11.3
Gujarat
44.90
407.10
9.10
49.50
466.20
9.40
54.50
592.50
10.90
10.2
Jharkhand
29.80
417.20
14.00
29.00
406.00
14.00
30.00
421.70
14.10
7.3
Chhatishgarh
23.50
207.60
8.80
23.90
217.30
9.10
25.20
249.10
9.90
4.3
Maharashtra
25.00
157.50
6.30
27.00
175.50
6.50
19.00
224.00
11.80
3.9
Assam
10.30
129.20
12.50
10.90
149.70
13.70
11.10
147.80
13.30
2.6
Others
64.80
555.30
8.60
73.50
628.70
8.60
77.00
662.60
8.60
11.5
TOTAL
431.70
4527.90
10.50
452.60
4803.20
10.60
498.20
5784.10
11.60
100.0
 
  Source: Indian Horticulture Database – 2011
 
3.
Commercially Grown Varieties
Some of the important varieties of okra are Pusa Makhmali, Pusa Sawani, IIHR 20-31, Pujab Padmini, Arka Anamika, Parbhani Kranti, Selection-2, Arka Abhey etc.For export purposes, mostly hybrid varieties are used. A few important hybrid varieties are given below:
Variety
Seed Company
Sobha Nath Seeds
Sungrow 35 Sungrow
Vaishali Indo-American Hybrid Seeds
Vijay Indo-American Hybrid Seeds
Adhunik Century Seeds
Pancholi Century Seeds
Hybrid 64 Mahyco
Azad Kranti Beejo Sheetal
Varsha Uphar HAU
Co3(Hybrid 8) TNAU
4.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
  • Use of hybrid seeds.
  • Nutrient and water management
  • Plant protection against diseases, insects and pests.
5.
Harvesting Season of Crop
 
- Lean Period
 
- Peak Period
 
- Throughout Year
 
States
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
West Bengal                        
Bihar
                       
Orissa                        
Gujarat                        
Andhra Pradesh                        
Chhatisgarh                          
Maharashtra                        
Assam                            
Uttar Pradesh                            
Haryana                        
Karnataka                        
 *The above graph showing harvest pattern in okra growing states.
6.
Arrival Pattern in Market
Okra is available throughout the year in West Bengal, Orissa and Gujarat. In rest of the states availability of okra is maximum in the period of April to June.
 
7.
(a).Concentrated Pockets
Though okra is cultivated through out the country but yet concentrated pockets are there in several districts as listed in table.
Concentrated pockets of Okra in India
States Districts (Markets)
Andhra Pradesh Kurnool
Bihar Vaishali, Nalanda, Muzzafarpur, Begu Sarai
Gujarat Surat, Vadodara, Junagarh
Karnataka Bagalkot, Mandya, Belgaum, Haveri, Bangalore, Bijapur
Maharashtra Nasik, Pune, Thane
Orissa Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj, Bolangir, Ganjem, Kalahandi
West Bengal Nadia, 24 Parganas(S), 24 Parganas(N), Bankurs, Murshidabad, Midnapur(E)
 
(b). Catchment Areas of Market
Andhra Pradesh Kurnool Emmiganuru, Kappagalu, Alur, Adoni, Atmakpur, Pattikonda, Dhone, Koilkuntla, Banganpalli, Allagadda
Bihar Muzaffarpur Sahebganj, Baruraj, Hursepur, Minapur, Kanti, Paru-I, Paru-II, Kurhani, Sacra, Dholi, Bochacha, Gaihati, Katra, Aurai.
Vaishali Kalyanpur, Lalganj, Goraul, Mahuwa, Desri, Bidepur, Raghopur, Mahnai, Patepur.
Begusarai Cheria, Beriarpur, Bakhri, Bhagwanpur, Bachwara, Barauni, Matihani, Surjagarh
Gujarat Surat Mangrol, Umarwada, Mandvi, Vyara, Valod, Mahuva, Palsana, Kamrej, Olpad, Nizer, Vadoli, Unal.
Karnataka Bagalkot Jamkhandi, Mudhol, Hungund, Badami.
Bijapur Indi, Sindgi, Basavna Bagevadi, Muddebihal, Tikota.
Belgaum Athni,Arkali,Chikodi,Mukeri,Bailhongal,Ramdurg,Khauapur.
Bangalore Amekal, Sonnenahalti, Kannur, Bagalur, Nagarur,Marangondahall, Haralur, Mantapa, Solurur, Chandapur.
Maharashtra Nasik Kalvan, Peint, Igatpuri, Sinnar, Niphad, Yeola, Nandgaon, Satara, Furgana, Dindori, Melgaon.
Pune Junnar, Ambegaon, Ghod, Rajgurunagar, Wadgaonsirur, Mulshi, Welhe, Purandhar, Bhor, Baramati, Indapur, Daund, Saswad.
Orissa Sundergarh Hemagiri, Banel, Panposh, Raj Gangpur.
Mayurbhanj Baripada, Rairangpur, Karanjia, Udala, Betnoti.
Kalahandi Dharamgarh, Bhawanipatna, Lanjigarh, Jayapatna.
West Bengal Murshidabad Suti, Jangipur, Raghunathganj, Lalgola, Bbhagwangola, Sagardighi, Jiaganj, Lalbagh, Domkal, Bahranpur, Hariharpura, Belaanga, Nawada ,Bharatpura, Barwan, Khargram.
Nadia Karimpur, Tehata, Kaliganj, Nakasipara, Chapra, Krishnanagar, Shantipur, Ranaghat, Chakdaha, Kalyani.
8.
Criteria and description of grades
 
Codex standards for okra are not yet published, but okra to be exported should be 3-5 inches in length, green and tender.
9.
Packaging and its details
For export purposes, okra is packed in consumer packs of LDPE or PP (polypropylene). Twenty consumer packs of 250 gm are placed in 2X2X5 pattern in a 5 Kg CFB box. The specification details of the box are given below in table
Specification details for Corrugated Fiber Board (CFB) Boxes for packing {5 Kg Box (Dimension : 450X265X110 mm)}
 
S.No.
Specification
Slide Type
Ring *Flap
Tuck-In-Type
RSC(regular
slotted container)
Tray with LID
1.
Material for construction
5-ply CFB
5-ply CFB
5-ply CFB
5-ply CFB
2.
Grammage (g/m sq.)(outer to inner)
*230X140X140X140
*230X140X140X140
*230X140X140X140
*230X140X140X140
3.
Bursting strength kg/cm sq.
Min. 10.00
Min. 10.00
Min. 10.00
Min. 10.00
4.
Puncture resistance
inches/teat inch
Min..250
Min..250
Min..250
Min..250
5.
Compression strength Kg.
Min.350
Min.350
Min.350
Min.350
6.
Cobb (30 minutes
g/m sq.)
Max.130
Max.130
Max.130
Max.130
  *Outer ply of white duplex board
  Source: Post –Harvest Manuals on Exports of Fruits, APEDA, New Delhi
10.
Distribution of produce from primary to Terminal Market
  • Okra is commonly grown in almost all parts of the plains and is consumed by common people in all the states as vegetable.
  • The okra produced in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Northern states is consumed in this region itself due to high demand.
  • Similar is the case with the okra produced in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa.
11.
Export and Export Potential
 
A. Domestic strengths for exporting okra
Domestic strengths for exporting okra are detailed in following steps:-
  • India is largest producer of okra in the world.
  • In India, a number of superior cultivars and even hybrids are available for cultivation, with a productivity ranging between 15-20 tons/ha.
  • Okra is available in India throughout the year and production can be tailored according to demand.
  • There is excellent research support for okra, because IIHR, Bangalore, IARI, New Delhi, IIVR, Varanasi and SAUs are located in different regions of the country to provide solutions to various problems in its cultivation.
  • APEDA has sanctioned Agri Export Zones in Punjab, U.P, Gujarat, A.P, Bihar, West Bengal for enhancing export of vegetables including okra.
B. Exports
There is no separate data for export of Okra, as its exports are included in mixed vegetables. The export of mixed vegetables was from Rs. 11633.84 Lakh in 2007-08 to Rs. 31538.56 Lakhs in 2011-12.
Export of Mixed Vegetables in Last Five Years
 
Years
Quantity in tons
Value in Rs. Lakhs
2007-08
45,828.94
11,633.84
2008-09
71,283.45
20,863.60
2009-10
92,058.88
28,464.53
2010-11
96,670.56
30,010.48
2011-12
90,020.48
31,538.56
  Source: APEDA Database - 2011-12
 
C. Measures for Enhancing Competitiveness
Following measures need to be adopted for enhancing competitiveness. Major competition in okra export is from Nigeria, Ghana, Pakistan and Egypt. These countries are also located nearer to Europe than India.
  • India must increase the productivity and enhance the quality, so that India can make quality product available at a competitive price.
  • Freshness and eye appeal must be enhanced in the product in order to be competitive.
  • Packing should also be effective and attractive.
  • Farmers need to be trained on quality requirements of importing countries.
  • India must brand its product.
  • Markets need to be nurtured on a regular basis.
12.
Storage
 
Temperature:
7.5 - 10 °C
Relative Humidity:.
90 - 95 %
Storage Period:.
1-2 weeks
 
13.
Documents required for exports
 
a). Documents related to goods
  • Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Certificate of origin
 
b). Documents related to shipment
  • Mate Receipt
  • Shipping Bill
  • Bill of handing
  • Airway Bill
 
c). Documents related to Payment
  • Letter of Credit (L/C)
  • Bill of Exchange
 
d) Documents related to quality of goods
  • Phytosanitary Certificate
  • GLOBALGAP Certification
  • Health Certificate
 
e) Organic Certification
  • Certificate indicating material produce is based on organic farming.
 
f) Documents related to Foreign Exchange Regulations
  • GR Form: Documents required by RBI which assures to RBI that the exporter will realize the proceeds of goods within 180 days from the date of Shipment.
 
g) Other Document
  • Bank Realization Certification (BRC): This is the advice given by Foreign Exchange Bank after the realization of money from Importer.
14.
Chain of events (pack house up to shipment)
 
FLOW DIAGRAM OF ESSENTIAL OPERATIONS OF OKRA EXPORTERS/PACKERS
  • Harvesting (in the morning)
  • Handling and transportation
  • Unloading
  • Grading and sorting
  • Packing
  • Precooling
  • Cold storage
  • Palletizing
  • Refrigerated truck
  • Shipment
 
 
15.
Cost Calculation from harvest to packhouse to port Cost involved in exporting Okra from India (as per information collected during 2008)
 
 
(a) Procurement price*:
 
Approx. price (Rs. /kg) 16 - 20
 
  *Price varies according to variety and month of procurement
 
 
 
(b) Charges for Pre cooling, Cold storage, Packing, Transport, etc. (below in table):
 
Particulars
Rs./kg
Precooling and cold storage
4.0
Handling and Packing cost
5.0
Transportation charge to Mumbai Airport
8.0
Total cost
17.0
 
  Source: Estimate of ITS Ltd.
 
 
 
C. Air freight charges*:
 
Freight rates for reefer container are as follows :
 
 
 
A. Air Freight Charges – London
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/ LON
+300
+500
+1000 Kgs
A/F
INR 70.00
INR 66.00
INR 60.00
Surcharge
INR 11.50
INR 11.50
INR 11.50
 
 
 
B. Air Freight Charges – Amsterdam
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/ AMS
+300
+500
+1000 Kgs
A/F
INR 75.00
INR 70.00
INR 66.00
Surcharge
INR 11.50
INR 11.50
INR 11.50
 
 
 
C. Air Freight Charges – Dubai
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/Dubai
+45
+100
+250
+300
+500
+1000
A/F (SCR General)
INR 74/Kg
INR 62/Kg
INR 50/Kg
INR 50/Kg
INR 42/Kg
INR 42/Kg
A/F (SCR 0006)
INR 40/Kg
INR 40/Kg
INR 40/Kg
INR 40/Kg
AWB
Rs. 750 per AWB
 
 
 
D. Air Freight Charges – Doha
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/Doha
+45
+100
+250
+300
+500
+1000
A/F (SCR General)
INR 75/Kg
INR 65/Kg
INR 55/Kg
INR 55/Kg
INR 45/Kg
INR 45/Kg
A/F (SCR 0006)
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
AWB
Rs. 750 per AWB
 
 
 
E. Air Freight Charges – Muscat
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/Muscat
+45
+100
+250
+300
+500
+1000
A/F (SCR General)
INR 75/Kg
INR 60/Kg
INR 50/Kg
INR 50/Kg
INR 45/Kg
INR 45/Kg
A/F (SCR 0006)
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
INR 35/Kg
AWB
Rs. 750 per AWB
 
 
 
F. Air Freight Charges – Singapore
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/Singapore
+45
+100
+250
+300
+500
+1000
A/F (SCR General)
INR 88/Kg
INR 63/Kg
INR 63/Kg
INR 44/Kg
INR 39/Kg
INR 39/Kg
AWB
Rs. 750 per AWB
 
 
 
G. Air Freight Charges – Kuala Lampur
 
Weight : All Weight Group
DEL/ Kuala Lumpur
+45
+100
+250
+300
+500
+1000
A/F (SCR General)
INR 70/Kg
INR 63/Kg
INR 63/Kg
INR 55/Kg
INR 53/Kg
INR 53/Kg
A/F (SCR 0006)
INR 45/Kg
INR 45/Kg
INR 38/Kg
INR 38/Kg
AWB
Rs. 750 per AWB