Young agripreneurs export Tarlac farmers’ okra harvest to Japan

Tarlac farmers export okra to Japan
Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprise sources their okra harvest from Tarlac farmers. Jelfarm photo.

Young Filipino agripreneurs are exporting ‘okra’ or ladyfingers to Japan to sustain agricultural-business and to support the livelihood of Tarlac farmers who are greatly affected by the fluctuation of ‘palay’ price.

The Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprise, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA), sent out a shipment of okra on September 29, 2020, from the Pair-pags Center in Pasay City.

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The agri-business led by young agripreneurs Jeffrey Fernandez and Rap Pelayo targets to ship 5 tons of okra per day at the onset of the harvesting season and aiming to ship an average of 13 – 15 tons every day during the peak of harvesting.

The okra enterprise will give the farmers a net income of P80,000 – P120,000 from the prospective harvest of 500 kilograms up to one ton of okra per hectare for 75 days straight.

“It’s a fast turnaround crop, high-yielding crop, and a good source of income for the farmers,” Fernandez said.

With the high demand for okras in the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Nagoya in Japan, 300 farmers from 14 different farms in Tarlac are gaining from the export enterprise as well as keeping the business amid pandemic.

“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,” DA Secretary William Dar said.

Secretary Dar added, “It’s a win-win arrangement because the farmers planting these are getting higher levels of income compared to rice.”

Jelfarm will expand its production areas up to a thousand acres in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and farming cooperatives in order to consistently supply Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified fresh okra required by the markets in Japan.

The Philippines is continuing the pursuit of food sustainability and local farmers’ livelihood through various projects such as the PAG-AHON project that is helping Nueva Ecija rice farmers learn sustainability practices and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) edible landscaping starter kits that are helping families secure their food source with home gardens.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Jelfarm Fresh Produce Enterprise and Department of Agriculture for leading the way in okra exportation that will sustain business and help Tarlac farmers.

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