India has the potential to host quite a few of the grape IP-varieties. In fact it could be a huge opportunity for the Indian grape industry, one exporter says. Invites have already been extended to several breeders, claiming the Indian climate is favorable for some of these special varieties.
The harvesting of grapes in India is still over a month away, but growers and exporters alike are preparing for the season. According to Amit Kalya, owner of Kalya Exports, the season is an interesting one. “We expect first harvesting of grapes by mid-December, and pick season between mid-January till the end of March. There were heavy rains in the grapes harvesting area in the Sangali and Pune region, which has affected several grapes orchards. These orchards will delay the early fruit that we usually have in good quantity otherwise.”
The heavy rains did some damage to the grapes, but acreage was also increased. Kalya expects this will cancel each other out: “We expect almost the same volume as the last season. There are many new orchards added this year, but heavy rains has affected some areas. Indian grapes are more consistent in quality, with controlled residue levels and are getting produced more advanced ways than they did in earlier days. Next to that, the availability window is favorable for the international market, so we expect the demand to be at a higher level than previous seasons.”
When it comes to the next step in Indian grape cultivation, Kalya sees opportunities with the upcoming IP-protected varieties. “The Indian grape industry mainly consists of Thompson Seedless white table grapes as of now, however India had huge potential for IP varieties due to the favorable climatic conditions, high-quality soil, the availability of water and improved farming expertise. We view it as an opportunity for the Indian grape industry to get and produce more varieties than the traditional varieties. We do not see any harm.”
As an exporter, Kalya has tried taking the extra step to get those IP-varieties to India. “Kalya Exports has already been in touch with some of the breeders and have invited them to India for further talks. We would also be happy to get connected with more breeders overseas for the new varieties to be introduced in Indian Grapes Industry.”
For now, Kalya Exports is focused on getting its grapes to the most important markets: “Europe and the UK are the prominent markets for us, but we are also concentrating on Canada, China, Russia, Malaysia, and Thailand this season. We have our own - as well as associated - packing and cold storage facilities in Nashik, Narayangaon and Indapur, each one is specialized for the packing of fruit for specific countries in the International Market.” Kalya concludes