Indian grape harvest 'on track' for a decent export season
Indian table grape crops in the key growing state Maharastra are doing well despite some inclement weather, with predictions for harvests to get underway in just under one month.
Grape Growing Association of India president Sopan Kanchan told www.freshfruitportal.com the sector was on track to yield 'good volumes' for export to the European Union.
"There has been a little bad weather such as heavy rain and some hail recently and yes it's caused some damage but nothing too bad and nothing that we cannot handle," he said.
"I don't expect yields to be badly affected and certainly everything is looking fine for the export market in terms of producing high enough volumes. Some portion is definitely damaged but not as bad as some people say and the main point is that the crop for export is definitely there.
"We can get some very bad weather here but we’re used to it. Some people always say around this time of year that the weather has badly damaged crops, but that is not the case this time. Everything will be just fine."
The harvest for the European market usually begins around Feb. 10, Kanchan explained, but could be slightly earlier this season.
"We are seeing a good crop so far this year although the climate does change regularly and we need to take a lot care and spend some money to make sure our yields will be good and meet the regulations laid out by the European Union.
"We are a few weeks before harvest but it could be that we start to focus on the harvest for Europe earlier than we expect, possibly in the last week of January, but we will continue to monitor crops and react accordingly.
"We expect good volumes and we have to make sure of that so we can compete against the likes of Spain, South Africa and Chile for instance. I hope importers from the European Union support us this season as every year we are coming with good crops and great quality, and I really would like to have more meetings with European importers so we can set up sustainable business practices that last for long periods of time."