The new coronavirus lockdown in several European countries creates a lot of uncertainty for India’s grapes exports, the season for which is set to start next week. The UK and countries of the European Union have been an important market for Indian grapes given the surety of payment there. Indian grape growers deal with both supermarkets as well as wholesale traders, with the former cornering 60 per cent of exports. Almost 80 per cent of Indian exports originate from the vineyards in Maharashtra. Farmers command better prices for export grapes than those meant for the domestic markets.
Jagannath Khapre, president of Grapes Exporters Association of India, said the reinforced lockdown in the United Kingdom has cast a shadow right at the start of the export season. “The season is set to start on January 15, our members have orders but we do not know how the season will pan out,” he told indianexpress.com.
Effects of EU regulations on exports
Apart from all this, exporters are worried by frequent rule changes. The All India Grape Exporters Association (AIGEA) has predicted that the European Union’s regulation on Mancozeb would affect table grapes export. The Association has demanded that the government of India must take up the matter with EU.
However, Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company, India’s largest grape exporting company, has welcomed the EU’s step, saying that regulation of Mancozeb will lead grape farmers to use more cost-effective fungicides.
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