Trying to compete on the world market

Nashik farmers will grow new variety of Indian grapes

In the next six months, Arra-15, Arra-30, Arra-13, Arra-19, 28, 29, 32 and A14 will be available for cultivation in India. A Nashik-based company, owned by farmers, has begun a new project to undertake plantation of new Californian variety of grapes in order to compete in the export market.

Sahayadri Farmers Producer Company (SFPL) has brought seedlings of the Californian variety of grape seedlings Arra-32 that can withstand adverse weather conditions and has a sweet taste. The company has opted for the black Arra variety.

Currently, 90% table grapes planted in Maharashtra are of Thomson variety that is around 50-year-old. “This variety has less demand in the export market, develops cracks in rain and also has limitations while transportation. Varieties like Arra have been found to produce reliable and quality products even in adverse weather conditions,” said Vilas Shinde, founder of the company.

Sahayadri has purchased production and marketing rights of the Arra variety of grape seedlings which will benefit farmers in entire Maharashtra, he said, adding that their company is the first to have purchased rights to a patented variety of grapes.

The Arra variety of grapes is grown in 24 countries and is available in white, red and black variants and all are of the export quality, he said.

Earlier, the company had successfully commercialised the Arra-15 variety of grapes which is now being cultivated on 40 hectare. The company intends to make available all the Arra varieties of grapes by 2020 and the target is to cultivate these varieties on 2,000 hectare by 2023.


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