India has crossed the $200 million mark of export of agricultural processed product, pickling cucumber, which is globally referred as gherkins or cornichons, in the last financial year, and has emerged as the largest exporter of in the world.
India has exported cucumber and gherkins to the tune of 1,23,846 metric tonnes (MT) with a value of $114 million during the April-October 2021. In 2020-21, India had shipped 2,23,515MT of cucumber and gherkins with a value of $223 million.
Gherkins are currently exported to more than 20 countries, with major destinations being the US, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Russia, China, Sri Lanka and Israel.
In India there are about 51 major companies producing and exporting gherkins in drums and ready-to-eat consumer packs.
Processing plants of international standards have been established to cater to the requirement of foreign buyers.
Nearly 15 per cent production of the world's gherkin requirement is grown in India. Gherkin cultivation, processing and exports started in Karnataka and later extended to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Cultivation of gherkins is carried out under contract farming by around 90,000 small and marginal farmers with an annual production area of 65,000 acres.
On an average, a gherkin farmer produces 4 MT per acre per crop and earns about Rs 80,000 with a net income of Rs 40,000. Gherkin is a 90-day crop and the farmers take two crops annually.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) undertook a series of initiatives in infrastructure development, product promotion in the global market and adherence to food safety management system in processing units.
All the gherkin manufacturing and exporting companies are either ISO, BRC, IFS, FSSC 22000 certified and HACCP certified or possess all the certifications.
(With inputs from IANS)