Maharashtra grape growers expect repeat of last season’s export success

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Pune | Published: November 29, 2014 12:14:16 AM

A record 1.92 lakh tonne of grapes were exported by Indian traders to around 94 countries for the season of 2014. Europe accounted for the largest share of 65,000 tonne

Maharashtra’s grape growers are expecting a repeat of their success in the previous season. Nearly four years after being rejected by the European Union on account of pesticide residue, a record 1.92 lakh tonne of grapes were exported by Indian traders to around 94 countries for the season of 2014.

Jagannath Khapre, president, All India Grape Exporters Association, says the recent spell of unseasonal rain should not have much impact and exports this time should be just as good as the previous year. “Harvesting has begun at some vineyards in Nashik and some flowering has been destroyed owing to rains. Around 10% of the crop has experienced cracking. But this should not impact the export scenario,” he said. Farmers have begun registering with APEDA under Grapenet, the online platform developed by Grapenet.

So far, around 14,000 registrations have been completed, Dr Sudhanshu, who handles the Mumbai region for APEDA, said. By mid-December this should go up to 25,000 registrations, senior officials said.

Last year, around 23,000 vineyards registered with Grapenet as opposed to 15,000 the previous season. Registrations have come in from  Latur, Satara, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Sangli and Pune.

Registering their farms on Grapenet is mandatory for farmers for export of grape. For the season of 2014, a record 1.92 lakh tonne of grapes was exported. Europe accounted for the largest share of 65,000 tonne. Nashik district is the largest producer of grapes with nearly 1.75 lakh acres under vineyards, while total acreage in Maharashtra is around 2.50 lakh acres. This year too, acreage is unlikely to change and has, in fact, risen by around 1-2% Khapre said.

According to him, new markets such as Russia and China also led to overall growth in grape export. Prices in the domestic market touched R30-35 per kg last year while the overseas markets commanded prices between R60-65 per kg.

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