HORDI Crop – Okra

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Abelmoschus esculantus

A crop belonging to family Malvaceae. Easy to grow and can be grown in throughout the year, making it popular among farmers.

At present it is cultivated successfully in Hambanthota, Kurunegala, Rathnapura and Mathale districts and spreading into Anuradhapura, puttalam. Mathara, Badulla and Moneragala districts. Consumes young pods, but leaves are a delicacy in India and Africa. Nutrient level is very high, fibres, minerals, especially calcium and Iodine are presence in immature pods. Okra plays an important role in controlling thyroxine related disease since calcium and iodine availability is high.

Released Varieties

Climatic requirements/ Areas suitable for cultivation

Can be cultivated in any agroclimatic zone, except in up country wet zone. Yala – early April to Early May. Maha – Early September to Early October.


A well-drained Soil that is neither acidic or alkaline is suitable for successful growth of the plant

Seed requirement

4.5 kg/ha

Land preparation

Harrow the soil and break soil finely. Mark pits according to given spacing; fill the pits with decomposed organic matter. Make several drains to avoid water retention / logging

Field establishment

Direct seeding is practiced.

Soak seeds in water for about 24 hours before sawing.  Plant about 3-4 seeds per pit. Keep the field with sufficient moisture.

After 2 weeks of seedling emergence, leave 2 healthy plants per pit and remove the excess


Between rows 90 cm

Between plants – within the row: 60 cm


Mix 10 t/ha of well decomposed organic matter with soil. Additionally apply chemical fertilizers as recommended. Apply basal fertilizers 2-3 days before planting

Times for apply

Urea  kg/ha

TSP kg/ha

MOP kg/ha

Basal fertilizer




Top dressing (2 weeks after planting)



Top dressing (5 weeks after planting)



Top dressing (8 weeks after planting)



Water supply/ Irrigation

Irrigate twice a day until seeds are germinated. After that irrigation should be practiced according to moisture condition in the soil

Weed Control

When plants are young, remove weeds by hand around the plants. Always keep the cultivation free of weeds. It will reduce the risk of pests and diseases.

Pest Management

Disease Management

podosphaera Spp


  • First appear whitish color powdery like fungus parts in the lower side of the leaf
  • Yellowing upper side of the leaf. Mainly appear on the Mature leaves and plant stem
  • Gradually leaves cover with whitish color powdery like fungus
  • Finally drying leaves. High Yield loss due to defoliation
  • Disease severity may be higher due to high relative humidity
  • Disease infection Sevier due to cloudy climate condition 

Disease control

  • Field sanitation
  • Control of relative humidity, temperature
  • Use of recommended fungicides

Okra mosaic virus (Begomovirus)


  • Yellowing of veins
  • Reduce pod size, yellowing,
  • Reduction of yield
  • Green and yellow color mosaic on leaves
  • Leaves shriveling
  • Stunting, growth reduction
  • Not spread by seeds

Disease control

  • Vector management (whitefly) (use of insect proof net or cover cropping, usage of Neem extraction)
  • Field sanitation, Remove and destroy infected plants
  • Use recommended seeds and resistant/tolerant varieties
  • Proper instrument handling
  • Disease control by using IPM package
    • Land preparation
    • Crop rotation
    • Resistant varieties
    • Use disease free seeds
    • Plant spacing
    • Nutrient management
    • Improve drainage
    • Field sanitation
    • Remove and destroy infected plants
    • Biological control

Harvesting and Processing

Can be harvested every 2 days  up to 25 times over 50-100 days after planting

Harvest in morning, with the stalk so as not to damage the harvest.

Sort and remove diseased, deformed , mature and pest affected pods

Avoid direct sunlight on harvested pods

Pack in baskets to ensure good ventilation and not damage the harvest


Varies with the season, variety and climate. Average yield is about 10-15 metric tons per hectare.OKH1 (Hybrid)gives an average yield of 30 t/ha