It is enjoyed in the Philippines through a number of ways like inadobo, sauteed, fried, or steamed as is with a side of bagoong.
Much like the Philippines, other countries also enjoy munching on this vegetable. Japan, for example, also has various dishes where okra is a key ingredient. Due to this, the country imports okra to meet its demand.
This circumstance opens the opportunities for farmers or companies to tap into Japanese market to supply their needs and earn a profit.
One such company that ventured into okra production and exportation is Hi-Las Marketing Corporation, a local agribusiness company that specializes in fresh and processed produce. It has been exporting okra to Japan since 1983. Presently, it manages 160 hectares of okra plantations.
According to operations manager Roberto Angelo “Ram” O. Amores II, Hi-Las expanded to increase its diverse line of products while considering the benefit which can be introduced to farmers who are suffering from losses from planting rice and other unstable crops.
“The plantations are maintained by our contract growers and administrative farmers. These plantations are strictly monitored by our farm technicians and agriculturalists to make sure that the chemical and food safety standards of the importing country are met with no exceptions,” he said.
Hi-Las was founded in 1976 by Roberto “Bobby” C. Amores and it was through his interest towards the Philippine Super Mango that propelled the then local fruits and vegetables trader into one of the country’s highly diversified grower, exporter, and processor.
When the company started producing okra for export, it began with small contract growers and buyers. Amores II said that the business could not be described as easy because the industry was very fragmented and had no organization at the time.
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