This time, growers had delayed pruning expecting unseasonal rains leading to the drop in export.
Grape exports from India have dropped nearly 18% this season. Exporters have shipped grapes amounting to 74,944.261 tonnes to European countries during the current grape season 2020-21 (December-April) to date, registering a drop of nearly 18%. Maharashtra had exported 92,342.403 tonnes during the corresponding period last year.
Vilas Shinde, chairman, Sahayadri Farmers Producer Company, said a major collective of 1,500 farmers in Nashik pointed out that the harvest was delayed by 15-20 days as the pruning of the vineyards was delayed. Normally by September, around 25% of the pruning is completed by growers and another 20% pruning is completed by October 15. This time, growers had delayed pruning expecting unseasonal rains leading to the drop in export.
“Now a glut-like situation is happening because the harvesting is in full swing resulting in high arrivals simultaneously from most vineyards. This is posing as a major challenge to growers, exporters and even buyers in Europe because of the lack of storage facilities,” Shinde said. Sahayadri Farms has exported around 750 tonnes of grapes to Europe so far. Shinde was confident that the country would exceed the previous season’s export figures.
The nationwide lockdown has not been a major issue since most supermarkets in Europe are functioning normally and, therefore, grape export is gaining momentum, he said. Jagannath Khapre, president of, All India Grape Exporters Association said that the season has been slow and exports should pick up momentum in the next few weeks. Of the 74,944.261 tonnes of grapes exported so far this season, 49,889.120 tonnes have been exported to the Netherlands, 12,332.409 tonnes to the UK, and 6,868.187 tonnes to Germany. India had exported 193,690.54 tonnes of grapes in 2019-20 to various countries including Europe.
Maharashtra is the top producer accounting for more than 81.22% of total grapes production. Other major grape-growing states include Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. There has been an increase in the registration of vineyard with the Agricultural and Processed Foods Development Authority (APEDA). As per government norms, farmers wanting to export grapes have to register their vineyards. Around 45,583 plots have been registered under Grapenet- the traceability system established by APEDA.