Recent incessant rains saw flooding and damage in many provinces. The monsoon has also taken a toll on the seasonal fruit, certainly grapes, with experts now predicting skyrocketing prices as the crops have faced heavy damage across the state.
The assessment was made by scientists from Manjari-based National Research Centre for Grapes (NRCG) that has surveyed various parts of the state like Nashik, Sangli, Solapur and Pune, where grapes are grown prominently. "Nearly 80 per cent of the country's grapes are grown from these parts that have been lashed with heavy rain. The extended monsoon has wreaked considerable havoc on the crop, which will lead to escalating prices once it is in the market," said RG Somkuwar, principal scientist at NRCG.
The harvest period for grapes spans between September and October, the months when rain has strongly prevailed over the state. The fruit has now faced damages, given its sensitive nature, said Somkuwar, adding: "Extra care is required when the vine ripens completely. The heavy rains have unleashed havoc." However, it is not just the rains that are responsible for the damage. The experts also counted increased levels of humidity and fungal infections as factors responsible.
Ashok Gaikwad, president of Maharashtra State Grape Growers' Association, told the Mirror: "We have black soil in the state that holds more water. Due to the extended monsoon, the moisture level in the soil has increased, inflicting damage to the roots. Moreover, the fertilisers in the soil have been leached out due to the excess rainwater, causing more problems to the crops."