Delayed monsoon washes away 40% of grape production in Maharashtra this season
As against 32 lakh metric tonnes production during 2018-19, the 2019-20 figure is expected to decline to 20-22 lakh tonnes, says Jagannath Khapare, head of exports, Maharashtra State Grape Growers Association.Updated: Jan 16, 2020 16:36 IST
PUNE: Grapes production in Maharashtra has been hit by an estimated 40 per cent in the 2019-20 (December-March) season due to delayed monsoon, according to Maharashtra State Grape Growers Association.
Every year, from November-end to March, grapes arrive in the market on a large scale, touching a peak in January. This January, however, there has been a sharp drop in the arrival of grapes.
As against 32 lakh metric tonnes production during 2018-19, production during 2019-20 is expected to decline to 20-22 lakh tonnes, Jagannath Khapare, head of exports, Maharashtra State Grape Growers Association (Rajya Draksh Bagaitdar Sangh) said in an interview.
“The early grape vineyards were completely damaged,” he said, adding that production of 20-22 lakh tonnes would be achieved if weather conditions are normal in the coming days.
Khapare said that the late cultivation grapes would be start arriving in the market after February.
Last week’s rain in some parts of Nashik district once again damaged the crop in vineyards. “Last year, almost 70 containers were exported during the grape season and this year hardly 10 containers could be sent for exports,” he said.
Grape grower Dattatray Tikekar from Junnar taluka said, “This year grape growers have been badly affected due to the extended monsoon. There were heavy rains when grapes were at the fruit stage, and the crop in the entire grape producing region in Maharashtra such as Nashik, Sangli and Pune districts suffered damage.”
Shankar Gangurde, a grape grower from Nashik district who has his vineyard at Taharabad, said apart from heavy damage due to rains which continued till October and November last year, the late crop was hit by the recent hailstorm. He said grape growers were facing heavy losses as it is a high investment crop.
Fruit sellers in Pune, Indu Mane and Rashid Khan, said the supply of grapes had been hit this year.