India emerges as largest exporter of cornichons; crosses $200 mn mark in sale of cucumber, gherkins
Out of the global requirement of gherkins, India alone meets 15% of its demand
India has crossed exports worth $200 million of agricultural processed product, pickling cucumber or gherkins or cornichons, in the last financial year. With this, India has become the largest exporter of cucumbers and gherkins in the world.
According to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India has exported cucumber and gherkins to the tune of 1,23,846 metric tonnes (MT) with a value of $114 million during April-October 2021. In 2020-21, India had shipped 2,23,515MT of cucumber and gherkins with a value of $223 million, the ministry said on Monday.
Following directions of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 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.
India has 51 major companies that produce and export gherkins. Gherkins are exported in two forms, packed in drums and in ready-to-eat packs. Out of the global requirement of gherkins, India alone meets 15% of its demand. Indian plants are of international standards and have been made to cater to the needs of foreign countries.
“Interestingly, in India, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana process and export the pickled cucumber to the world. They are imported to over 20 countries including the USA, France, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Israel, Germany among others” said the Ministry.
Apart from its export potential, the gherkin industry plays a key role in the creation of rural employment. According to the Ministry, gherkins are cultivated under contract farming by around 90,000 small and marginal farmers in India.
They have an annual production area of 65,000 acres. On average, a gherkin farmer earns Rs 80,000 with a net income of Rs 40,000. Interestingly, the farmers take two crops of gherkins annually because it is a 90-day crop.
All the gherkin manufacturing and exporting companies are either ISO, BRC, IFS, FSSC 22000 certified and HACCP certified or possess all the certifications. Many of the Companies have adopted Social Audits which ensures that all statutory benefits are given to the employees.
Along with this, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has undertaken various initiatives in infrastructure development, product promotion in the global market and adherence to food safety management systems in processing units.