India tops the world in the export of cucumber and gherkins

With the export of Cucumber and Gherkins, India became the largest exporter of gherkins in the world. During April-October (2020-21), India has exported cucumber and gherkins to the tune of 1,23,846 metric tonnes with a value of $ 114 million. India exported gherkins in two categories. India exported cucumbers and gherkins, which are prepared and preserved by vinegar or acetic acid, and those which are provisionally preserved are also exported.

Globally, India in last year has surpassed $ 200 million in exports of pickled cucumbers known as gherkins or cornichons. In the fiscal year 2020-21, India had shipped 2,23,515 metric tonnes of cucumber and gherkins with a value of USD 223 million. 

The production of gherkin cultivation expanded in the country in the 1990s and the processing and exporting started in the state of Karnataka. After the production started in Karnataka, it has extended its production to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. About 15% of the world’s total gherkin is grown in India.

Gherkins are currently exported to more than 20 countries, with major destinations being North America, European countries, and Oceanic countries such as the USA, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Russia, China, Sri Lanka, and Israel.

In India, gherkin is cultivated under contract cultivation by 90,000 small and marginal farmers with an annual production area of ​​65,000 acres. Additionally, the production of gherkin is not only in urban areas but also in rural areas. The gherkin industry plays a key role in the creation of rural employment. 

When the production is complete, the gherkins are exported in a large amount and in two forms. The first is in raw form and the second is in ready-to-eat form. In India, there are about 51 major companies producing and exporting gherkins in drums and ready-to-eat consumer packs.

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According to the ministry, a gherkin farmer on average produces four metric tonnes per acre per crop and earns about Rs 80,000 with a net income of Rs 40,000, the ministry said. Gherkin has a 90-day crop, and the farmers take two crops annually. International standard processing plants have been set up here to cater to the needs of foreign buyers.

Moreover, the companies exporting and producing the gherkins are cross-checked with certification marks. 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.