India is the largest exporter of gherkins in the world, with exports worth $114 million during April-October (2020-21). According to the Commerce and Industry ministry, India exported gherkins to the tune of 1,23,846 metric tonnes.
In the last financial year, India crossed the $200 million mark of export of pickling cucumber, which is globally referred to as gherkins or cornichons.
Gherkins are exported under two categories -- cucumbers and gherkins, which are prepared and preserved by vinegar or acetic acid and those which are provisionally preserved.
In 2020-21, India shipped 2,23,515 metric tonnes of cucumber and gherkins worth $223 million.
Gherkin cultivation, processing and exports started in India during the early 1990s in Karnataka and later extended to the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Nearly 15 per cent of the world’s gherkin requirement is grown in India.
There are 51 major companies producing and exporting gherkins in drums and ready-to-eat consumer packs. In India, the cultivation of gherkins takes place under contract farming by around 90,000 small and marginal farmers with an annual production area of 65,000 acres.
On average, a gherkin farmer 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. Processing plants of international standards have been established here to cater to the requirement of foreign buyers.
Gherkins is currently exported to more than 20 countries. Gherkins is 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.
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