Tunnel farming

Basra okra fetching $13 per kilo

BASRA – Farmers in the northern part of Basra have started harvesting their winter okra crops, cultivated using tunnel farming, with prices reaching up to 20,000 Iraqi dinars per kilogram.

Tunnel farming is an agricultural technique where crops are grown under protective tunnels made of plastic or other materials, creating a controlled environment that can extend the growing season and protect plants from adverse weather conditions.

Abu Karar al-Sudani, a local farmer, shared, “We’ve initiated the harvest of the okra using the tunnel farming technique. The planting commenced last November, and harvesting is now underway. My farm spans 33 dunams [eight acres], with initial production being low as the season starts. However, we expect the yield to gradually increase, peaking in May when we remove the tunnels. The improved water quality has us hopeful for a robust yield.

He added, “The going rate for a kilogram is between 18,000 and 20,000 ($12-13) Iraqi dinars, primarily to traders from the provincial capital, with the remainder sold in the local district. As the season progresses, we anticipate the price will drop to between 6,000 and 8,000 dinars. We use the Hussainiya variety of okra seeds, known for their high yield.”