Apeda has created a separate link on its website where the farmer has to enter the registration number of the garden to login into a page and the residue report of his orchard will be immediately available.
Now, grape growers across the country can get their residue reports online. This move by Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development (Apeda) is expected to help grape farmers and prevent their exploitation at the hands of the exporters of the fruit. Residue report gives details of plots and chemicals in a crop.
Apeda has created a separate link on its website where the farmer has to enter the registration number of the garden to login into a page and the residue report of his orchard will be immediately available. Apeda has made this facility available for farmers from the season of 2018-19, ending the long wait of growers.
For the past few years, farmers who wished to export grapes were not getting their reports on time which made exports difficult and therefore this has been a long-pending demand, industry people said. They have been following up with the National Research Centre for Grapes,the agriculture commissioner and horticulture commissioner in Maharashtra.
According to Jagannath Khapre, president, All India Grape Exporters Association, this move will help bring in transparency and curb exploitation of farmers at the hands of exporters.
“The farmer is the biggest stakeholder and he needs to get the residue report first. In the past few seasons, several farmers were not getting any details and were exploited by exporters who would tell them that the extent of chemicals in their consignment was high and offered low prices. The farmer was not in a position to demand and question. This move will now help him,” he said.
Khapre said several farmers were still waiting and had not registered themselves on GrapeNet this season for this reason. Their registration on GrapeNet is mandatory if the farmer wishes to export his grapes.
Last season, 38,000 vineyards have been registered under GrapeNet. Feasibility reports were being prepared for other nations so that grapes from India do not face any residue-related issues.
Last season, grape exports touched 1,80,000 tonne. Khapre said exports could be similar or around 2 lakh tonne this year.
Like Europe, other countries including China, Indonesia and Russia have decided to issue stricter residue monitoring plan (RMP) norms for India. This year onwards, the government has decided to issue certificates to exporters to these nations as well so that exports do not face any hurdles. Khapre said China, Russia and Indonesia had given a year to Indian exporters to meet the norms.
India has been attempting to make inroads into new export markets such as China, Russia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. However, these countries have now decided to come up with norms for Indian grapes.
Some of the norms are stricter than those set by the European Union. A couple of years ago, the EU had agreed to retain the residue levels of chlormequat chloride, a plant growth regulator, at 0.05 parts per million (ppm), for a period of two years.