Okra, a “treasure” that Tamaulipas sends to the US and that few of us here have tried


Of this vegetable called Okra, which is consumed in the United States, there is a planting of at least 10 thousand hectares.

Their name is, Okra. Some know this vegetable as “okra” or “Mexican cactus”; at least 10 thousand hectares are planted in Tamaulipas, although it is only consumed in the United States.

It is specifically grown in the north of the state and is on the menu of restaurants in south Texas; it came to this country almost as a migratory fact.

The representative of the Regional Agricultural Union of Northern Tamaulipas (UARNT), Juan Manuel Salinas, told EL SOL DE TAMPICO that the cultivation of okra arrived between the 40’s and 50’s when due to rains the cause of the Bravo River left plants in Mexican territory.

“In one of those, when an okra crop went off course, it was left on this side and at the end of the day, those of us who live on the border have relatives on the other side and they were the ones who explained that it was okra and started the crop”, he related.

“It is a crop that is planted throughout the northern area of Tamaulipas, it is not planted anywhere else in the country, it is a product that is 100% exported,” he added.

It also contains nutrients that strengthen the immune system, since they contain vitamin A and C. Consuming okra helps keep your cells young, according to what they say. It is a green pod, native to Africa and adapts to tropical and subtropical climates.

“Quimbombó” or “Mexican cactus”, the vegetable that is planted in Tamaulipas

The study “Productive Competitiveness of Four Okra Hybrids in Northern Tamaulipas” carried out by Arturo Díaz, Alfredo Ortegón and José Alberto Ramírez, defines okra as (Abelmoschus esculentus) is an annual malvaceae that is grown as a vegetable.

“Its planting is not widespread and it is considered a minor or non-traditional vegetable. In some countries in Africa and Asia, and in Brazil, it is planted for self-consumption. Its cultivation tends to disappear due to high production costs, mainly due to the intensive labor required during long harvest periods,” the investigation detailed.

The researchers agreed that the semi-arid region of northern Tamaulipas is the main producer in the country, whose production is exported fresh for subsequent processing, through contracts with companies in southern Texas.

“To synthesize quickly; “Okra is the Mexican cactus, what happens is that the American does not consume the cactus, they buys the okra,” Salinas said.

Tamaulipas plants 10 thousand hectares of Okra

The agricultural representative explained that Tamaulipas plants about 10 thousand hectares of okra annually, in places such as Matamoros, Río Bravo and Vallehermoso, because it is a limited crop, since its picking is done manually.

“This is a product that has to be picked by hand by people because there is no machine that can pick it, around 10 thousand hectares are planted, there are always between three thousand, four thousand hectares and they are cultivated in stages,” he said.

He highlighted that the pickers are originally from Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí, and they usually harvest very early so that the product is sent that same day to the United States, since buyers require it as fresh as possible.

“In the United States they need a size that they call the ‘baby’ type, which is the cutest. “Americans want it cute and it is sent to them in a size that has specific measurements,” he pointed out.

Mexicans urged to consume Okra

The producer highlighted that Tamaulipas farmers would like the consumption of okra to extend to all of Mexico, however, the problem lies in the lack of knowledge of the product and that the seed is only found in the United States.

“We have made many promotions for us to consume it and we are very rare in consuming it. It is very delicious and we can consume it just like the nopales that we prepare with almost everything, in the United States, they enjoy it even breaded,” he concluded.

Source: El Sol de Tampico