MANILA - The Philippines has begun exporting okra or ladyfinger vegetables to Japan, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said agribusiness firm Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprise led the initial shipment of two tons of okra to Japan on Sept. 29.
“This is an indication that in spite of COVID-19, we are upping the game. Kagaya nitong okra export to Japan, this is a significant development,” Dar said.
JelFarm will initially be shipping about 5 tons daily, which will rise to 13 to 15 tons every day once the harvest season kicks in, the DA said.
"About 300 farmers are involved in the production of the export-grade okra products that are harvested from different farms in 14 barangays of Tarlac," the agency said.
Okra farmers can harvest 500 kilograms up to one ton of okra per hectare for 75 days straight and earn a net income of P80,000 – P120,000 according to JelFarm.
Demand for okra is very high in the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya, the DA said.