Unscheduled rains have not only damaged large tracts of vineries but also have severely affected the raisin industry of the district as a huge quantity of the dry grapes has lost the quality that the market needs. According to a rough estimate, some 26,000 tonnes of dry grape have been damaged in the district. Experts say that Bijapur district and other grape-growing districts of North Karnataka region produce over Rs. 2000 crore worth of raisin annually, however the untimely rains coupled with hailstones that the district received a few days ago, has had an adverse impact on the annual production of this sweet dry fruit.
Known for having limited moisture and humidity, Bijapur district is believed to be best suited for preparing raisins. Therefore, many people who are involved in the raisin industry, bring grapes from Bagalkot, Belgaum and Solapur of Maharashtra for preparing raisins before exporting.
Several raisin makers have purchased around 200 acre land in Aliabad village of Bijapur taluk where they have set up indoor sheds for preparing the raisins.
Kadappa Teli, a raisin maker, said that he has never seen such extensive damage to raisin in the past. “I am in this occupation for the last 15 years, this is for the first time in these many years that I have witnessed such large scale damage to the dry grapes,” he said.