Amateur farmer may have grown world's longest okra

Amateur farmer may have grown world's longest okra
Certified length: Koay showing the 18-inch okra in Tanjung Bungah.

GEORGE TOWN - The last thing Koay Swee Beng expected was for his okra plant to bear an 18-inch fruit when he picked up home farming seven months ago.

The okra, also known as lady's finger, grew to a whopping length which shocked the 65-year-old when he checked on his plant on Saturday.

"When I first noticed the fruit, it was only 14 inches. I got curious and checked online to see if there was any okra longer than that."

"I found out that the record okra length was 16.5 inches based on a 2012 article from an online news portal, which stated that a gardener in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, managed to clinch an entry in the Limca Book of Records," he said.

"By the next morning, the okra had grown to 16.2 inches and by evening, it had shot to 17 inches. I checked on its progress for the next two days and it stopped growing at 18 inches."

"It was surprising since the other okra plants usually only have fruits of between eight and 11 inches. The seeds of the plants were sowed about four months ago," said the retired teacher when met at his home in Tanjung Bungah.

The Limca Book of Records is the Indian equivalent of the Guinness World Records with emphasis on unique achievements of Indians.

Koay said there was no record of the longest okra in the Guinness World Records but he believes that his could be the world's longest.

"I have sent an e-mail to Guinness and I'm still waiting for a reply. Hopefully, they can send someone to check before the okra wilts."

"I will now let the okra dry up on the branch to collect the seeds which can then be sowed for more plants," he said.

Besides okra, Koay also grows cabbages, winter melons, choy sum, kailan, spinach, bush beans, cili padi and lime.


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