Okra or popularly known in Malaysia as “Bendi” or Lady Finger can be easily found in South East Asia especially in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippine. Okra consisted 90% water, 7% carbohydrate, 2% protein and 1% fiber, traces of minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin B. It is also rich in calcium. While traditionally Okra is also believed to boost-up memory.
Vegetable commodities are considered as the most volatile commodity in term of pricing. It price fluctuate almost daily. In Malaysia Okra may fetch the highest price of RM415.00/100kg and as low as RM214.00/100kg (FAMAXCHANGE – price forecast for month of January, February and March, 2008)). However, these fresh commodities are greatly influenced by weather, apart from other factors such as demand and supply. Due to this aspect, farmers need to play more roles to ensure the price stability of this particular commodity. One of the roles that farmers could play is to explore the other potential usage of that commodity, aside from it conventional and traditional purposes.
Commonly, young Okra is used as a source of vegetables in most of Asian cooking. While old and tough okra normally are discard or thrown away. This creates great losses to farmer since these old and tough Okra has no value in the market. Due to that aspect a solution are found to explore the potential of this old and tough Okra for better usage. Since Okra has a distinctive thickening value it have found out that the possibility of converting Okra into a powder form and used as an thickening agents. And at the same time the Okra flour can also be turned into snack.
Snack which are made from vegetable based flour suitable for everybody of all age.
Use inexpensive and easily available raw material throughout the year (unseasonal vegetable) – okra.
Creating versatility for okra uses.
An added value for okra which are presently only used as vegetable in cooking.
Using inexpensive (cheap) and unwanted or leftover vegetable which currently have no value in the market. The process of transforming okra into flour for Okra Snack used tough, unwanted and leftover okra that are not suitable for vegetable cooking. Presently these vegetables (tough, unwanted or leftover okra) are thrown away.
Help to boost income of farmers. Utilizing the unwanted leftover okra which currently has no market value, helps to boost farmer income.