Philippines begins commercial export of okra to Korea
Author: DA Communication Group | June 6, 2021
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Okra Producers and Exporters Association (POPEA) has started commercial shipping of fresh okra to the Republic of Korea on June 6, 2021 at the Philippine Airlines Cargo Terminal.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez showed the government’s full support for the private sector group led by President Roberto Amores, as the country’s initial export of 1,200 kilograms of okra to Korea marks an important milestone for local farmers and agro-entrepreneurs.
“This will really strengthen our efforts to support high value-added crops not only for local consumption but also for exports. Export development and promotion is one of our key strategies in DA so that the farmers and agribusiness involved have more income at the end of the day. The quality of the products will be maintained and the volume will be there through consolidated agriculture, ”Secretary Dar said.
According to Amores, additional orders are expected soon as promotions are aggressively encouraged by the DTI and DA in Korea, as well as the private sector groups of POPEA, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Confederation of Philippine Exporters, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (PHILFOODEX).
“The harvest period for fresh okra starts from mid-October to mid-June. The opportunity to sell fresh okra is almost the same for Korea and Japan due to their similar weather conditions and off-season, where the Filipino origin is well placed for the production schedule, ”said Amores.
The okra shipment, which is the first of three shipments before the end of the season, is expected to arrive in Korea within 36 hours to maintain its quality and freshness.
Producers of fresh okra for export to Japan and Korea strictly adhere to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and good agricultural practices to ensure product safety and quality. The traceability codes and the date of packaging are also indicated in each exported package of okra.
Secretary Lopez said the new trade with Korea is part of the country’s stimulus plans and will help grow its exports. He also pledged to push for tariff cuts on some agricultural products imported by Korea, including okra, mango, bananas and pineapples.
Currently, Hi-Las Marketing Corporation and Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprise are the two accredited okra exporters to Korea, but the new market is expected to generate opportunities for more local farmers and exporters.
The said POPEA member companies involve around 500 farmers gathered in Tarlac for the production of quality okra products for export. The other members of POPEA are the AAMC Foods Corporation and Greenstar Produce Phils., Inc.
“We would like to congratulate this partnership and we will always continue to nurture the agro-industrialization strategy led by the private sector.. Kami in Kagawaran of Pagsasaka is happy à gusto po namin na mas marami pang mga Farmers ang ma-involve dito its exports her South Korea, ”Secretary Dar said. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)