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For Maharashtra farmers, export of grapes turns sour as prices drop

Grape farmers in Maharashtra aren’t comfortable, despite 106,000 tons of grapes in 7,964 containers have been exported from the State, regardless of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and series of lockdowns. The farmers are bitter that growth in quantity has not helped them as prices have dipped within the worldwide market.

Grape export from Maharashtra has gone up this year in contrast with final year. In 2019-20, Maharashtra exported 92,342 .403 tonnes grapes in 6,842 containers.

Nashik district exported 96,028.132 tonnes. This means, it has accounted for 90 per cent of the entire grapes exported from Maharashtra, whereas Sangli district has shipped out 6,124.348 tonnes (6 per cent of whole grapes export).

The Netherlands is a significant export vacation spot for Maharashtra grapes with 64 per cent of the fruit heading to that nation. Over 68,406 tonnes of grapes had been exported to the Netherlands in 5,153 containers. Over 19,575 tonnes of grapes had been exported to the UK in 1,389 containers. About 9,857 tonnes grapes had been exported to Germany. Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland and Poland are different export markets for Maharashtra grapes.

According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana haven’t exported grapes final year in addition to the present year until May 12.

Not helpful
“Compared to last year, exports have gone up but this has not helped farmers in any which way. Good availability of grapes kept market rates down for the entire season except for the last few days. Prices of grapes ruled low and farmers received no substantial returns,” stated Jagannath Khapre, President of All India Grape Exporters Association.

Vilas Shinde, Chairman and Managing Director of Sahyadri Farms, Nashik-based FPC, stated, “ Domestic markets crashed and hence more farmers wanted to export their produce. As a result, the volume of export surged. Shipping companies and supermarkets in Europe were the main beneficiaries. Shipping companies hiked rates by about 40 per cent and European supermarkets which have a monopoly on the market purchased grapes at a low price.”

Shinde stated that export of grapes exceeded the demand within the European market. “Only exporting grapes in big number is not going to help farmers. We have to put a strategy in place to control the supply in domestic and foreign markets.”

Source: NewswrapIndia

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