Grape exports hit by COVID-19

Some of the fruits that will be on display.

Some of the fruits that will be on display.  

Grapes and watermelon mela from Wednesday at HOPCOMS outlets

COVID-19, which has affected tourism and other trades, has also reportedly impacted grape exports from the State.

HOPCOMS (Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society Ltd.), which announced the ‘Grape and Watermelon Mela 2020’ in its outlets here from Wednesday, said most countries had become cautious about imports. “Countries in the Gulf, such as the U.A.E, which used to import grapes, have not imported the usual quantity as they are cautious of importing food due to the COVID-19 scare. As a result, the export of grapes has dropped,” said HOPCOMS president A.S. Chandre Gowda. In addition, the yields have been lower this year due to the prolonged monsoon. “Around 13,000 hectares of plantation is in Vijayapura district alone and around 4,500 hectares in Belagavi district was worse hit as intermittent rains even after the monsoon and cloudy weather resulted in 35% to 40% low yield this time,” he added. Chickballapur district, however, will not be affected much as farmers grow grapes in the second stage (February and March). It is expected to get a decent yield this year, he said.

The mela will go on till the end of March. Around 15 varieties of grapes, including Sharad seedless, Thompson seedless, Taj Ganesh Sonaka, and four to five varieties of watermelon – Namdhari and Kiran – will be sold at 10% discount at HOPCOMS outlets.

B.N. Prasad, MD, HOPCOMS, said it planned sell over 500 tonnes of grapes and 1,500 tonnes of watermelon. At the last mela, over 350 tonnes of grapes and 1,000 tonnes of watermelon were sold. “Fruits will be purchased directly from farmers of Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Belagavi, Kolar, Chickballapur and Bengaluru Rural districts,” he said. The amount would be directly deposited into their accounts within four days. “We will give them a little over the market price,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:13:48 AM |

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