Step-by-step guide on okra export from India

Step-by-step guide on okra export from India

Interested in exporting okra from India? You're in the right place. In this blog, we'll take you through each step, from market insights and government support to sourcing, logistics, and finding buyers. Whether you're experienced or new to exporting, we'll share useful tips and insights to help you succeed. Let's begin your export journey!

Why Choose Okra for Exports

Have you ever thought about how a humble vegetable can open doors to global opportunities? Let's explore why okra is not just a kitchen ingredient but a ticket to successful international exports.

Okra Export Opportunity & Market Size from India

Okra, also known as Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench, is a great choice for export. It's in demand in over 22 countries, and in the year 2020-2021 (from April to November), India earned $1.75 million from okra exports.

Okra is a valuable vegetable. It's easy to grow, popular, and can fetch good prices, sometimes up to $7.07 per kilogram. This makes it a smart option for farmers to increase their income.

India is the top exporter of fresh okra, shipping 40,983 shipments. Honduras comes next with 3,583 shipments, and the Philippines is third with 1,660 shipments.

According to reports from regional research, the global market for okra seeds is poised for substantial growth. It is projected to be worth USD 187.15 million in 2022 and is anticipated to soar to USD 514.9 million by 2033, with a steady Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.65% during the forecast period spanning from 2023 to 2033.

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Government Benefits & Support

When it comes to exporting okra, the Indian government offers a range of incentives to support and enhance your export business efforts. These incentives can provide a valuable boost to your export endeavors:

  • Duty Drawback:
    Exporting okra not only expands your market reach but also comes with certain advantages. You can benefit from a 0.15% duty drawback, which is seamlessly credited to your account without the need for additional steps. Furthermore, a Customs House Agent (CHA) can assist you in managing the shipping documentation, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process.
  • Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exports:
    The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products scheme offers a significant advantage. You can enjoy a benefit of either 2% of the export value or Rs 1.3 per kg, depending on the lesser amount. To illustrate, if you are exporting okra goods worth Rs. 10,00,000, you could potentially gain a benefit of Rs 20,000 or Rs 1.3 per kg, whichever is lower.
  • Interest Equalization Scheme on Pre & Post Shipment Export Credit:
    While the "Interest Equalization Scheme" primarily targets manufacturers (not merchant exporters), its impact can be noteworthy. If you secure a loan at a 10% interest rate, the government will cover a substantial 5% of that interest. This means you only need to bear the remaining 5% interest, easing the financial burden associated with your okra export endeavors.
  • Transport and Marketing Assistance Benefits:
    The "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) scheme lends its support to select agricultural products, including okra. Its primary goal is to aid in the international shipping and marketing of agricultural goods. By mitigating the hurdles posed by increased transportation expenses related to exporting specific agricultural items like okra, this scheme addresses issues such as trans-shipment. Additionally, it aims to enhance the reputation of Indian agricultural products in international markets where the quality of Indian okra is acknowledged and valued.

These government incentives can significantly benefit your okra export business, providing financial relief and support to help you expand your market presence and succeed in international trade.

These government incentives can significantly benefit your okra export business, providing financial relief and support to help you expand your market presence and succeed in international trade, especially for air freight to destinations like Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

We present a detailed breakdown of how the TMA scheme can support your efforts in exporting fresh okra to a Gulf country in the table format given below.

ITC-HS CodeDescriptionRegionAmount in Indian Rupees Per TEU (Normal)Amount in Indian Rupees Per TEU (Reefer Container)Amount in Indian Rupees by Air Amount per kg
07099930Other Vegetables fresh or chilled/ OkraGulfRs. 12600Rs. 21000Rs. 1.40

How to Source Okra for Exports

If you are new to exporting okra, don’t worry. There are so many options. Let’s start by looking at where okra is primarily grown and sourced.

Okra Export Process

 Okra Export Process from India, Citrus Freight

Top States That Produce Export-Quality Okra

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Bihar
  • Gujarat
  • Maharashtra
  • West Bengal

Potential sources: Mandis, Farmers and Traders

When it comes to exporting okra, there are three effective ways to keep your product safe:

  • Community Markets (Mandis):
    These busy markets are places where farmers and vendors gather to trade okra. This is a convenient place to get your serving of okra.
  • Direct from farmers:
    Another option is to buy okra directly from farmers. This straightforward process benefits both you and the farmers. You get fresh okra and make sure the farmers get a fair price without middlemen.
  • Okra Vendors:
    These skilled workers find time to buy and sell okra profitably at better prices. Their expertise in finding the best products can prove invaluable.

Remember, each buying method has distinct advantages. Mandi offers a variety of products; buying from farmers offers personal and trustworthiness; and okra traders are experts at navigating the market for the best deals.

Types of Understanding the Packing of Okra for Export

Proper packaging is essential to keeping okra fresh and healthy during transportation. It is important to be aware of packaging practices, procedures, and standards to ensure that your shipment arrives at its destination in the best possible condition.

Material of ConstructionCorrugated Fibre BoardCorrugated Fibre Board
External Dimensions (mm)500 x 300 x 200500 x 300 x 200
Style of BoxTelescopic - 0312Telescopic - 0312
No. of Plies5.05.0
Type of FlutesLid B (Narrow) Tray B / B(Narrow)Lid B (Narrow) Tray B / B(Narrow)
Direction of FlutesVerticalVertical
Grammage (g/m²)Lid : 250/150/150 Tray : 250/120/120/120 / 120Lid : 250/150/150 Tray : 250/120/120/120 / 120
Burst Factor of Paper (Kraft) (Minimum)20.020.0
Bursting Strength of Board (Kg/cm²) (Minimum)14.0Lid : 11.0, Tray : 14.0
No. of Pieces per BoxNot more than twoNot more than two
Manufacturer's JointBy gluingBy gluing
Compression Strength of Box (Kgf) (Minimum)450450
COBB (30 Minutes)*** (g/m²) (Maximum)6060
No. of Ventilation Holes16.016.0
Diameter (mm) and Position of Holes20.020.0
Two Sides Each33
Two Ends Each11
Top & Bottom Each44
Edge Crush (Kgf) (Minimum)40.0050.00

Please note that our box dimensions have been designed to align with Euro pallet compatibility. Nevertheless, we are adaptable and can customize box dimensions and styles to meet the precise needs of our importers.

The mentioned grammage serves as a reference point, and we are open to exploring alternative grammage options that provide the same level of strength and performance.

Regarding ventilation, our standard specification comprises a 20-mm diameter with 16 holes. However, we can modify the ventilation design as necessary to suit the selected box style.

Tips to Find the Best Supplier for Okra Exports

Selecting the right freight forwarder is a critical step in shipping perishable goods like okra. Here's a simple guide to help you identify the perfect match:

Perishable Expertise: Opt for a freight forwarder with expertise in handling delicate products like fruits and vegetables. Their experience ensures that your okra remains fresh and in pristine condition during transit.

Efficient Team: Choose a forwarder with a skilled team dedicated to ensuring on-time shipments and smooth logistics for your orders.

Customer-Centric Approach: Look for a forwarder that prioritizes your needs. They should offer valuable advice and assist you in navigating the complexities of shipping.

Quick Quotes and Excellent Service: Seek a forwarder that provides prompt, accurate pricing and offers top-notch service to ensure your okra is well taken care of.

Positive Reputation: A forwarder with positive online reviews is a reliable and trustworthy choice.

At the forefront of this field is Citrus Freight. With our expertise in perishable logistics, a skilled team, rapid pricing, and a track record of customer satisfaction, we are well-equipped to elevate your okra export business.

Setting up a Company for Okra Exports from India

With your supply sources and logistics in place, it's time to establish your company for okra exports. Starting an export business involves a few essential steps, including company registration and compliance with legal requirements. These foundational steps form the basis of your journey into okra exportation.

Documents Required to Set Up a Company for Okra Export

Initiating your okra export venture involves these essential steps:

  • Company Registration: To engage in export activities, it's vital to register your business as an export company with the relevant government authorities. This establishes your business's legal identity. You can choose to register your company as an LLP, Pvt Ltd, proprietorship, or partnership, depending on your business plan.
  • IEC (Import Export Code): Obtain an IEC from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to conduct import-export transactions. This 10-digit code uniquely identifies your company and is mandatory for all such transactions, enabling customs authorities to recognize your business.
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN): These unique identification numbers are for tax purposes and may be required depending on your business structure.
  • Trade License: Depending on your export activities, you may need a trade license for specific purposes.
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax): Enroll your export business under the GST system. This is crucial for adhering to tax regulations and accessing tax-related benefits.

Export Documents Required for Okra Export

When exporting okra, ensure you have the following essential export documents:

  • Invoice: This document outlines the details of your okra export, including pricing and the parties involved.
  • Packing List: An itemized list specifying okra quantities, weights, and packaging ensures accuracy in shipments.
  • Certificate of Origin: The certificate of origin verifies the source of your okra, a critical aspect for customs clearance and tariff assessment.
  • Phytosanitary Certificate: A phytosanitary certificate is issued by agricultural authorities. This certificate confirms the health and compliance of your okra with import regulations.
  • Bank Realization Certification (BRC): This certificate affirms the realization of foreign exchange from your export venture after payment. It marks the closure of a foreign transaction.
  • Port Registration: This involves AD code registration, Icegate registration, and duty drawback registration for successful port registration.
  • KYC (Know Your Customer): Register your export shipment at the designated port to ensure proper processing and customs clearance. It requires the submission of the necessary shipment documents.
  • APEDA / RCMC (Registration Cum Membership Certificate): RCMC is issued by Indian Export Promotion Councils or Commodity Boards, confirming your registration as an exporter with a specific council or board. It's essential for accessing export benefits, incentives, and government schemes.

Test Report Documents

When exporting okra, you'll need the following test report documents:

  • Pesticide Residue Analysis Report: This report must be issued by a government-approved laboratory and must confirm that the okra does not contain pesticides above the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) set by the importing country.
  • Aflatoxin Analysis Report: Similarly, this report, issued by a government-approved laboratory, must verify that the okra does not contain aflatoxin above the MRLs set by the importing country.
  • Ethylene Oxide Analysis Report: This report is necessary for exporting okra to the European Union and must be issued by a government-approved laboratory. It should confirm that the okra does not contain ethylene oxide above the MRLs set by the EU.

These documents are crucial to ensure compliance with the importing country's regulations and to maintain the quality and safety of your exported okra.

Finding International Buyers for Okra

In order to expand the export business, Okra needs to find international buyers. This strategic approach opens up new markets and new opportunities for growth and success.

Top Importing Countries for Okra from India

  • UK
  • Singapore
  • UAE
  • Germany
  • Canada
  • Qatar
  • Nepal

How to Find an International Buyer for Okra

To find international buyers for your okra export, a strategic approach is crucial. This involves market research, network building, participation in trade events, and online platform utilization. Identifying potential buyers who align with your product and quality standards is a critical first step in this process.

Pro Tips for Finding an Okra Buyer in the International Market

Enhance your search for buyers with effective marketing and promotional strategies. Here are three key steps to consider:

  • Invest in SEO: Boost your online visibility in the global market by investing in search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Build a Strong Brand: Focus on establishing a strong brand presence from the outset and invest in social media marketing to create a robust online identity.
  • Leverage CHAs (Customs House Agents): CHAs often possess extensive buyer networks. Don't hesitate to ask them for referrals to connect with potential Okra buyers.


Exporting okra presents significant opportunities to tap into global market demand. With a comprehensive understanding of the advantages, sourcing strategies, logistics, and buyer connections, exporters can navigate this venture successfully.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that citrus freight is dedicated to delivering exclusive pricing offered by shipping lines directly to fruit and vegetable exporters. This commitment not only helps you save money but also ensures the smooth execution of your shipments. We understand the importance of cost-efficiency in your export endeavors, and our services are designed to support your financial goals while delivering top-notch logistics solutions.