Farmers urged to cultivate grapes

Cultivation of grapes is highly profitable and there is a good scope for tapping export opportunities by adopting good farm practices in raising the crop, said G.S.Prakash, former Head, Division of Fruit Crops, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bengaluru.

Addressing students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University’s Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women and Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute (ADACRI) here on Tuesday, Dr.Prakash, an international consultant in viticulture, said grape is an important fruit grown widely in India and the country was a major exporter of fresh grapes. Grapes is among the top foreign exchange earners among fruit crops. Cultivation of grapes creates employment opportunities for farmers, farm labourers, exporters, traders and indirect employment to several others.

In India, grapes is being cultivated on a wide range of soils right from sandy loam to saline and alkali soils. Grapes are grown across a range of agro climatic zones. Though more than 20 varieties are under cultivation in the country, only about a dozen are commercially grown. Currently, Thompson Seedless is the ruling grape variety raised on about 55% of the total area under cultivation. Bangalore Blue occupies approximately 15% of the total area while Anab-e-Shahi and Dilkhush (15%), Sharad Seedless (5%), Perlette (5%) and Gulabi and Bhokri together (5%) are the other varieties grown.

Nowadays, grape growers are following good agricultural practices (GAP) to attain international standards and explore better opportunities for export. Adopting GAP in pruning, vineyard management, irrigation, fertilization, crop protection, appropriate stage and method of harvesting, packaging, storing and transporting are important.

“Grapes cultivators in India are highly dedicated and committed group and have established a leading position in the world grapes trade through their own effort. Now the time has come for small and marginal farmers too to take up grape cultivation by adopting GAP,” he said.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the north-western region covering Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were major grape growing areas in the country.

Maharashtra ranks first in terms of production accounting for more than 81.22 % of total production and highest productivity in the country.

Red Globe, a seeded variety of grapes with a yield of 8 to 10 tonnes per acre is able to fetch ₹ 130 a kg. Farmers cultivating Dil Kush variety of grape are able to get an income of ₹7 lakhs per acre, he said.

The country has exported around 2.5 lakh tonnes of grapes, worth ₹ 2335.24 crore during 2018-19. The major export destinations were the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan and Germany.

The largest export market of the fruit functioned in Nasik. Farmers of Maharastra organised as Maha Grapes, a powerful Farmers Producers Company with good bargaining power, exports grapes on a large scale. Sangli in Maharashtra and Bijapur in Karnataka are the major raisin export centres in India.

Grapes has stable free radical scavenging property and anti-peroxidative property. Dried Grape seed powder has anti-carcinogenic properties and the grape seed powder fetches a price of ₹ 4000 per gram, he said.

P. Masilamani, Dean, ADACRI, and S.Parthiban, Professor and Head, Department of Fruit Science, spoke.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 9:24:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/farmers-urged-to-cultivate-grapes/article30863120.ece

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