Production Technology and Nutritive Value of Okra

Hafiz Muhammad Bilal& Muhammad Zubair.

Department of Horticulture, University of Sargodha.


Vegetables production is becoming popular in Pakistan. Some peoples are grow vegetables for home purpose at small scale and use as fresh and cooking but also vegetables are grow for marketing purpose at large scale. Best growers have great opportunity to gain more profit than fruits in short time. Orchard is a log term business but vegetablesproduction is a short term and get early profit then orchard. Vegetables are very necessary for human being health. They provide vitamins, Minerals, Salts, Sugars, Protien, Carbohydrate, Calcium and water. Every vegetable are best for human health and have its nutritional value and its other benefits. So, we need to know about its management practices. Okra / Lady Finger (AbelmoschusesculentusMill) belong to family Malvaceae. Its origin Is tropical Asia and Africa the main region of cultivation and diversity of okra in  India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.

Okra / Lady Finger (AbelmoschusesculentusMill) is Cross Pollinated plant and Annual, tall erect. Its grows up to 6 feethight and stem is hairy, tissue woody when it mature.Okra / Lady FingerLeaves with long leaf stalk and hairy.The Okra / Lady Finger flowers large with 3 inch diameter and yellow with red or purple center.Pods are hairy when young and variable in length up to 9 inch and 1 inch in diameter and splits length wise when mature. The seeds are round or kidney shaped and dark brown, gray, dark green or black embedded in mucilaginous tissues. The okra roots are central along with small roots.

Okra / Lady Finger (AbelmoschusesculentusMill) is very valuable vegetable and cultivated all over the world. The Top five producing countries of Okra / Lady Finger (AbelmoschusesculentusMill) is India  61.9%, Nigeria  22.2%, Sudan   3.2%, Mali 2.7% and Pakistan  1.3% and exporting countries of okra is Afghanistan, UAE, Iran and Malaysia. The World production of Okra / Leady finger is 8900434 tons and area under cultivation is 2157961 hectares.World ranked Pakistan is5thnumberand share in wolrd is 1.3 %. In Pakistan area under cultivation is 15529 hectare and production of okra is 118986 tonnes. In Punjab the area under cultivation is 5909 tons, Sindh 4915 tons, Balouchistan 2622 tons and KPK 2083 tons And also its production in Punjab 67058 hec, Sindh 18995 hec, Balouchistan 16124 and KPK 16809 hec. The  major growing cities of Okra / Lady Finger in Pakistan is Multan, Jhang, D.G. khan, Rahim yar khan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Rajanpur, Lodhran, Vehari, Okara, Muzaffarghar and Toba teksingh.

Okra / Lady Finger is use in soups and curries. The Immature or young pods are cooked and the Pods may be boiled, fried, frozen or canned.Roasted seeds are used as a substitute of coffee and Stem give fiber which is used in paper industry. Okra have its nutritional value and they contain Energy 129 kJ (31 kcal), Carbohydrates 7.03g, Sugars    1.20g, Dietary fiber 3.2 g, Fat 0.10g, Protein  2.00g, Water 90.17g and Calcium 81 mg. Okra / Lady Finger have two types of varieties some are local variety and some are Imported varieties. The local varieties are Fsd-1, Fsd-2, Mirpurkhas-I,II. Tarnab-13, PARC green, Spiny local, Sabzpari and the imported varieties are Emerald, Clemson, Perpins dwarf, Pussa green, Pussaswani, PussaKranti. Good farmers are grow or select those variety that are suitable and best for his environment and soil conditions and earn more profit. The production of Seed yield is 400-600 kg/acre. We Get two or three pickingsIf danger of viral diseases then we get seed from 1st picking. Picking is done  when pods ripens and changes colors before splitting and Cut early in morning and dry in sun and get seeds.

Okra / Lady Finger (AbelmoschusesculentusMill) can gave economic yield up to 3000 feet from sea level. It can tolerant to wide range of soils and rains and also grow during dry and wet season.Some varieties are very sensitive to excessive soil moisture they Do not tolerate frost. It require hot and humid conditions.Optimum germination at 29°C and no germination below 20°C.Soaking the seeds for 24 hrs in water or 30 mins in alcohol/acetone improves germination. If excessive nitrogen is applied the harvesting is delayed and when the temperature is exceed 40°C then flower start to drop that cause the problem of  less production.

For okra cultivation soil is required well drained, Fertile, sandy loam soil is considered best.  Land preparation is very necessary for any cultivation so okra cultivation one month before sowing at 15-25 tons FYM per/hectare is added in soil mixing well and irrigate. Ploughingis done 2-3 times and level the area. For sowing seed is require and the variation among seed rate is present in early, mid and late sowing crop of okra. For early crop 9-12 kg/acre,mid and late crop 6 kg/acre seeds are require.  The early sowing in Feb-March, mid sowing in April and late sowing in June-July also early harvesting is done in June-July, mid in June-Oct and late harvesting in season of Aug-Nov.

There are Generally two methods are used for production of okra at commercial scale. One is ridge and second is beds. In ridges R x R distance is 60cm and P x P 20-30cm and in beds R x R distance is 75cm and P x P 20-30cm. Fertilizers are also important for the best growth of plants. So in okra  cultivation before sowing three bags Sulphate of Potash, one Bag Ammonium Sulphate per acre.Two  bag of Ammonium Sulphate at flowering stage after three and four  pickings and half bag of urea. At sowing  two bag of urea, one bag Ammonium Sulphate per acre is required. Thinning is also important it is done at 8-10 cm seedling height.

Without water plants can not be germinate and not its growth so irrigation is required 1st  irrigation after sowing and then weekly. At the flowering and fruiting time four to five days interval irrigation is done and avoid over flooding. Okra is harvested over a long period and weed control remains important throughout the season. Plastic mulch can suppress weed populations while warming the soil and encouraging plant growth. Shallow inter-row cultivation and hand chipping can be used to keep weeds within rows to a minimum.

Harvesting is also an important operation to increase production. Okra plant ature in 8-10 weeks from sowing and pick tender pods. 3-4 days old pods are picked at 2-3 days intervals. If pods picked fruiting is continues throughout season and If  we do not picked fruiting stopped. Picking is  carefully used gloves and avoid pressing, discoloring and bruising. It can be store at Below 10°C and avoid high humidity.Ifthe  marketing is delayed then use water soaked bags. We get yield  half kg/plant and 8000-1000 kg/ha.

These are the fallowing major insect pest and diseases. The insects are Whitefly, Spotted Bollworm, Aphid and disease are Powdery mildew, Leaf Spot, Okra leaf curl virus and Root-knot Nematodes. The effect of white flyIt produces numerous chlorotic spots on infested leaves.Wilting and shedding of leaves, fruits and branches is associated with very heavy infestation.The honeydew excreted by the juvenile stage cover the leaves.Results in decrease in yield and quantity. It can be control by Spray of proper insecticide and Inter cropping with non specific host crop.  Spotted boll worm also effectedIn the early stage of the crop the larvae enters the terminal buds of shoots and tunnels downward from the growing points. The larvae feed on and damage growing vegetative parts, shoots of the main axes, succulent internodes, tops of side branches, young leaves and flower buds. It can be control by Scout weekly and Insecticides soaps are effective against this insect.

Powdery mildew is also effected they Initially white superficial spots appear on leaves, but entire surface may cover with powdery mass.Diseased parts turn brown and the affected leaves start drying. If conditions remain ideal for disease development, defoliation also takes place, plant growth and fruit development badly affected and yields are considerably reduced. It can be control by normal and judicious irrigation and fertilizer application followed by sanitation through inter culturing for control of alternate host plants (weeds) is recommended. In case of severity, different foliar fungicides could also be used. Leaf spot is also effected The leaves, stems or roots develop small, yellowish-green to brown spots.In some cases, the old leaves may also show water-soaked spots. The fruit develop small, raised rough spots or rot spots, or fruit may fail to set. It can be control by Precautionary measures include and use of disease-free seed also Crop rotation and avoidance of overhead watering.

Saad Ur Rehman Saadi
Saad Ur Rehman Saadi

My name is Saad ur Rehman, and I hold a M.Sc (Hons.) in Agronomy and MA in Journalism. I am currently serving as an Agriculture Officer in the Agriculture Extension Department. I have previously worked with Zarai Tarqiati Bank as an MCO. With my education in agriculture and journalism, I am able to effectively communicate issues that affect farmers' daily lives. In recognition of my community and literary services, I was awarded a gold medal by the government.

Articles: 186

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *