On Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that the Philippines will export okra to Japan beginning September 29. This aims to provide additional financial assistance to farmers during the pandemic.
About 300 farmers from 14 barangays in Tarlac are part of this. The DA elaborated that the initial shipment is expected to have two tons of the vegetable.
JelFarm is one of the okra exporters to Japan. It will send out five tons daily once harvest season kicks in. During the peak season, export capacity will increase to 13 to 15 tons every day.
“Japan is a key market for our produce and they are fond of eating okra as part of their diet,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said. “It’s a win-win arrangement because the farmers planting these are getting higher levels of income compared to rice.”
The agricultural bureau pinpointed the high demand for okra in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya.
Okra farmers can harvest from 500 kilograms up to one ton per hectare for a period of 75 days and earn net income of P80,000 to P120,000, the DA estimated.
This development shows that the DA is “upping the game” despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Dar emphasized.
JelFarm will team up the DA, Bureau of Plant Industry, and farming cooperatives to grow its plantation up to 1,000 hectares with the goal of increasing the production of okra for export.
In addition to providing support to okra farmers, Dar committed to continuously assist edamame farmers. The Philippines is also exporting this type of young soybean popular as a snack or appetizer in Japan.
Additionally, the country exports banana to Japan. Unfortunately, our market share declined due to tight competition, higher tariffs, and low output.
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