India's table grapes jeopardized by lack of rain -

India's table grapes jeopardized by lack of rain

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India's table grapes jeopardized by lack of rain

Insufficient rain in India's key table grape state of Maharashtra has prompted fears that between 10-15% of growers will have no yields at all this season, website reported.

Many grape farmers are struggling to keep their vines alive due to hardly any rain and dams running dry.

The next two weeks will determine whether future rain will rescue their crops or whether yields will be severely hit.

A horticultural expert said parts of the Sangli-Solapur-Osmanabad belt were the most affected where even the mandatory April pruning has not been done.

"There was no pruning done in areas such as Latur, Jat, and parts of Osmanabad due to water shortage. These people are in trouble, these farmers will get no yield this year," he was quoted as saying.

Farmers in the usually water-rich Nashik zone are experiencing unprecedented water scarcity with their dams drying up.

The predicament of some farmers in the Sangli-Solapur belt is similar with growers relying on water tankers to irrigate their vineyards as the dams in this region are bone dry.

Maharashtra produces 90% of India's grapes with Nashik, Sangli, Solapur and Pune the major grape-producing zones. The season runs from October to April with Maharashtra producing 1.5 million metric tons last year.

Related stories: India to adopt South African grape varieties

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